Going in tune with the country's development pace, Son La is powerfully transforming to gradually become a growth engine of the northwest. The strong investment inflow into tourism and high-tech agriculture in Moc Chau and in most districts has helped accelerate local economic restructuring and build the foundation for a new wave of investment in the future. Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has an interview with Mr Cam Ngoc Minh, Chairman of Son La Provincial People’s Committee. Ngo San reports.
How do you assess the socioeconomic development results of the province over the past time?
In 2016, in spite of numerous difficulties, under the close leadership and firm direction of the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People’s Council and the Provincial People’s Committee, Son La province carried out consistent solutions to address difficulties and achieve important results. The economy expanded 9.2 per cent over 2015; economic structure continued to shift towards a positive direction; budget revenue reached VND3,893 billion; and agricultural production and service developed in the year. Social sectors progressed. Social security, sustainable poverty reduction and other social policies were effectively implemented. Poverty rate fell to 3 per cent. 83.8 per cent of roads were paved or cemented. Foreign affairs were strengthened and expanded.
However, we must admit that economic growth was fairly good but unsustainable. Among 25 development targets set for 2016, the province completed and exceeded 19 targets and likely missed six targets. The economic growth rate was below expectations due to mining slump and export underperformance. The agricultural economy was unsustainable due to high dependence on natural conditions, low product quality and low productivity. The province’s mechanisms and policies are not attractive enough to draw domestic and foreign investment resources for infrastructure development. Employment, income and livelihood of the people have not been really improved. Poor households and minorities still face hardships in life. Waste disposal and environmental pollution are still problematic.
What will the province focus on to achieve targets set by the Resolution of the 14th Provincial Party Congress in the 2015 - 2020 term?
In order to achieve socioeconomic development objectives stated in the Resolution of the 14th Provincial Party Congress, Son La province will implement the following solutions:
- Enhancing provincial competitiveness, improving the investment climate, mobilising and attracting investment resources for development
+ Promoting socialisation, mobilising investment resources for infrastructure development and provision of public services; stepping up investment promotion to draw domestic and international investors to invest in socioeconomic infrastructure development in the form of public - private partnership (PPP).
+ Focusing on carrying out tasks and solutions of improving the business and investment environment, supporting and developing enterprises, encouraging technological innovation, enhancing corporate competitiveness.
+ Restructuring credits to better serve local socioeconomic development objectives; effectively managing and using financial resources, applying transparent, active fiscal regimes, tightening fiscal and budgetary discipline.
- Developing production and business, enhancing productivity, efficiency and competitiveness, promoting sustainable economic growth
+ Developing agricultural production, processing and preservation models, applying high technology and expanding highly effective economic models and building geographical indications and product brands
+ Exploiting and promoting the performance of industrial production bases, renovating technologies, investing in production expansion, enhancing capacity, governance and labour quality
+ Developing and diversifying commercial markets, applying information technology to e-commerce development, strengthening trade promotion and expanding consumption markets; carrying out market controlling measures, fighting against smuggled goods, prohibited goods and counterfeit goods and intellectual property violations, food safety violations and other commercial frauds.
- Stabilising population and ensuring socioeconomic development in resettlement areas built for hydropower projects: The province will continue to review and arrange resettlement areas, develop essential socioeconomic infrastructure to ensure people's lives, promote socioeconomic development areas for hydropower projects in Son La province.
- Ensuring social security, improving the quality of education and training, bettering people's healthcare, effectively solving other social issues
+ Ensuring social security, effectively implementing national target programmes for sustainable poverty reduction; carrying out policies on job creation in association with labour market development, stabilising and developing the labour export market.
+ Improving the quality of education at all levels, promoting the construction of a learning society.
+ Consolidating and improving the performance of medical network services, giving priority to the development of grassroots healthcare, preventive medicine and primary health care.
- Effectively responding to climate change, enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of resources management and environmental protection.
- Stepping up administrative reform, applying information technology, building a modern professional public administration, exercising thrift practice, waste combat and corruption resistance.
- Ensuring national defence, political security, social order and safety, improving efficiency of external affairs.
On September 22, 2016, Son La province and 21 other provinces and cities signed agreements with VCCI on the enforcement of Resolution 35/NQ-CP dated May 16, 2016 on business support and development to 2020. Would you mind telling solution groups to shape a favourable business environment for companies in the near future?
Executing Resolution 35/NQ-CP dated May 16, 2016 of the Government on business support and development to 2020, the Son La Provincial People’s Committee issued Decision 1952 dated August 12, 2016 on action programmes according to which all-tier governments and branches speed up administrative procedure reform, create favourable conditions for enterprises, create a favourable environment for business start-ups and business innovations, ensure the equal access to resources and business opportunities, reduce business costs for enterprises, protect legitimate rights and interests for enterprises. The Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People’s Council and the Provincial People’s Committee have directed provincial agencies, district governments and enterprises to build a stronger entrepreneur force to better perform in the integration process and create a favourable business environment for enterprises with five following groups of solutions.
One, speeding up public administration reform, facilitating enterprises with the main solutions: carrying out plans to improve the business environment and enhance competitiveness; reforming administrative procedures, holding regular dialogues with enterprises.
Two, creating an enabling environment for business start-ups and business innovations.
Three, ensuring the equal access to resources and business opportunities for enterprises.
Four, reducing business costs for enterprises.
Five, protecting the legitimate rights and interests of enterprises.
Do you have any message to the business community?
The Son La Provincial People's Committee appreciated efforts of enterprises and entrepreneurs for their contributions to local socioeconomic development and affirmed the strong development of enterprises and entrepreneurs as an important factor in local socioeconomic development. Son La always creates the most favourable conditions for investors and enterprises to invest and expand production and business, enhance their governance capacity and competitiveness in the market with the motto “Business is the driving force of economic development. Creating a favourable environment to support business start-up and business innovation, ensuring their satisfaction and success, is our success.”