Thai Binh Giving Priority to Attract Infrastructure Projects

2:44:31 PM | 2/6/2016

Mobilizing investment resources to build synchronous infrastructure, especially transport infrastructure is the key to promote socio-economic development of Thai Binh province. This is one in three breakthroughs in economic development for the 2015-2020 term defined by the Provincial Party. Currently the provincial governments are implementing various programs and action plans, including attracting investment. Around this topic, reporter of Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Doan Hong Ky, Director of the Thai Binh Department of Planning and Investment. Duy Anh reports.

How do you assess the results of attracting investment in Thai Binh in recent years?
By the end of December 2015, Thai Binh province attracted 738 investment projects with total registered capital of VND 109,078 billion, of which 461 projects have been put into operation, 53 valid FDI projects with registered capital up to US$ 415.3 million, creating 144,000 jobs. In which, industrial production has the most projects: 540 projects with a total registered capital of VND 94,700 billion and currently there are 385 projects that have been put into operation, creating 110,000 jobs. The industrial parks have an average occupancy of 81.34 percent, creating over 50 percent of the industrial production value in the province.

In the last 5 years of Thai Binh has attracted many large-scale investment projects with modern technologies such as thermal power plant 1,800 MW capacity with investment capital of US$ 3.4 billion of Vietnam Electricity (EVN), ammonium nitrate production plant capacity of 200,000 tons/year (over US$ 260 million) of Coal and Minerals of Vietnam, the project to collect and distribute the mine gas in Thai Binh and Ham Rong mine capacity of 360 million m3/year (over US$ 150 million) of the National Oil and Gas Group, and the investment project in infrastructure construction in Tien Hai Industrial Park about US$ 100 million of the Viglacera Corporation. These projects are being implemented and will be in operation from 2017, which are expected to contribute to the local budget more than VND 5,000 billion/year, helping the province's coastal areas become key areas of economic development, as well as expanding Thai Binh’s economy scale on par with other provinces in the Northern Delta region.

In order to achieve these results, what direction and solutions has the province implemented?
Over the years, Thai Binh has always been aware of the potential, advantages and disadvantages and drawbacks, and provided solutions to attract investment.
In order to create space for production, Thai Binh soon defined the role and strengthened the development of the planning of industrial parks and clusters and actively promoted the clearance. Currently the province has planned 9 industrial zones with a total area of 1983 ha and 51 industrial clusters with 1,600 ha area in which many IPs and ICs are operating effectively such as: 120 ha in Phuc Khanh Industrial Zone, 68 ha in Nguyen Duc Canh Industrial Zone, 446 ha in Tien Hai Industrial Zone (in the first period with 64 ha).
The complete mechanisms and policies to attract investment also drew interest. Since 2007, the provincial People's Committee issued Decision 01/2007/QD-UBND stipulating some policies to attract investment; in 2009, Decision 07/2009/QD- UBND was replaced by Decision 01/2007/QD-UBND. Especially, on September 24th 2014, the province continued to issue 5 decisions 15/16 / 17/18/19/2014/QD-UBND about incentives and policies to encourage investment in agriculture, industry, services and environment. The authorities from the provincial to grassroots levels have actively implemented those policies, through which many investors have been supported in land price, levelling and training.

Thai Binh has also implemented multiple solutions to promote the reform of administrative procedures in the field of investment attraction. The province has issued administrative reform plan of Thai Binh in 2012-2015 period (Plan 30/KH-UBND dated February 4th 2012 of the PPC) which helps decrease by 40 percent settling time related to administrative procedures, such as the establishment of enterprises or project evaluation. From November 2015, the administrative centre of the province was put into operation with the "receiving and evaluation administrative procedures in place" which has created a new breakthrough in reforming local administrative procedures. In May 2016, the plan to reform administrative procedures, improve the business environment and enhance the competitiveness of Thai Binh period 2016 to 2020 and the following years were also passed, which led to the launch of a wave of public administrative reform, improving the business environment in the locality.

Over the years, Thai Binh has held several meetings and dialogues to promptly remove difficulties and obstacles on tax policy, lending loans and, granting land use right certificates for businesses. The support measures are also synchronously implemented such as technological innovation, training, construction and application of advanced quality management system and building trademarks. Provincial business associations, provincial associations of women entrepreneurs, district business associations are increasingly active, playing the role as a focal point to gather, mobilize entrepreneurs to invest in production and business.

Investment promotion activities are promoted, not only toward the Japanese and South Korean markets, but also "in place" through the support before, during and after licensing to enable investors to facilitate implementation of the project; create confidence and satisfaction for businesses to expand production, thereby creating a diffuse, calling for new investors to Thai Binh.

In the future, which areas will Thai Binh focus on?
In the period 2016-2020, Thai Binh defines the overall development objectives: To mobilize all resources, rapid economic development and sustainability, promote socio-cultural development, raise living standards, the spirit of the people; create a foundation to build Thai Binh province with modern agriculture and industry. On that basis, the province has set out specific criteria: GRDP growth over 8.6 percent/year; production value increased by 10 percent/year; total investment of development VND 166,500 billion 5 year (1.5 times in 2011-2015). By 2020, the economic structure of Thai Binh will be: agriculture, forestry, fisheries 25 percent, industry and construction 40 percent and services 35 percent; GRDP / person about 2300-2500 USD and export turnover of over US$ 2 billion; revenues over VND 5,500 billion.

The province has identified three key breakthroughs include: (1) Focus on public administration reform, enhancing competitiveness and improving the investment and business environment; (2) Construct synchronous socio-economic infrastructure, especially transport infrastructure to connect between the focal traffic and connect regional economic centres of the country, construct coastal areas into key economic development; (3) develop human resources, especially high-quality human resources to meet the requirements of economic development. The province also set out six tasks and solutions include: Restructuring the overall economy and industries associated with the growth model innovation; Industrial development in the direction of restructuring the industries associated with increase in proportion of skilled, high technology contributing to the budget, and less pollution; development of trade and services towards civilization and modernization; increase investment in infrastructure construction of socio-economic; urban development; and developing the various economic sectors, forms of production and business organization, the types of enterprise.
In particular, investment in building socio-economic infrastructure is key solution, setting the stage for the development of other sectors. Besides taking advantage of domestic revenues and enlist the central funds, bonds, credit and ODA, Thai Binh will focus on diversifying forms of investment, especially further improve the mechanism, policies to mobilize resources, prioritizing investment projects in key transport infrastructure to enhance connectivity; irrigation infrastructure for agricultural development, prevention of floods, typhoons and coping with climate change; infrastructure of the health sector, education and training; infrastructure of the power sector; urban infrastructure and clean water for people's lives.

For specific deployment, on 12th October 2015, the People's Committee of Thai Binh province issued Decision 2399/QD-UBND approving the list of priority projects to attract investment in the period 2016-2020, including 32 projects in 6 sectors: 10 projects in industry, 4 projects in agro-fishery, 2 projects in commercial services, 4 projects in industrial park infrastructure construction, 5 projects in transport, 4 projects in health and 3 projects in environment, including 15 projects in socio-economic infrastructure. In industry, Thai Binh also gives priority to projects in the electronics industry, auxiliary and processing and plants for Agricultural and Forestry Products which are strength of the province.

To continue to create an attractive investment environment, Thai Binh will implement synchronous solutions, which focus on public administration reform, improve access to land and labour; support business to improve the PCI and strengthen investment promotion activities. Besides, the province also focuses on raising the efficiency of the project to attract FDI, transfer of technology, management level and consume markets; giving priority to foreign investment projects with qualified management and modern technology within the global value chain.