Thai Nguyen: Friendly, Open and Selective in Attracting Investments

3:23:30 PM | 8/6/2017

In the past time, with the dynamism and friendliness of all levels of government in business and investor support, the picture of investment attraction in Thai Nguyen province has been brightened. However, the delay and even suspension of quite many projects in the province has blurred the picture of investment environment. In order to gradually raise the quality of investment attraction, the province will focus on supervising inputs of investors and strictly overseeing project progress to build the trust and open opportunities for genuinely capable investors. To learn more about this issue, we have an interview with Mr Hoang Thai Cuong, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of Thai Nguyen Province. Ngo San reports.

What do you think about the results of investment attraction in Thai Nguyen province in the past time?
As a professional advisor and assistant to the Provincial People’s Committee on executing the State power on planning and investment, e.g. master plan, five-year socioeconomic development plan, local investment capital allocation and investment promotion plan, the Department of Planning and Investment has successfully completed its assigned tasks and contributed to the overall success of the province. The following are some remarkable results of investment attraction:

In 2016, Thai Nguyen province approved 74 projects with a total registered investment capital of VND11,065 billion (US$500 million), including 25 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with US$130.8 million or VND2,945 billion. Most projects are engaged in manufacturing and processing industries. By the end of 2016, the province had a total of 805 projects with over VND302 trillion (US$13.7 billion) of investment capital, including 116 FDI projects with US$7.1 billion or VND157 trillion. They hired 18,578 ha of land. By sector, 105 projects are involved in real estate, accounting for 13.04 per cent of total projects licensed; 616 projects are engaged in industry, trade, service and tourism, accounting for 76.27 per cent; 69 projects specialised in mining, or 8.57 per cent; and 19 projects are for agriculture and forestry, making up just 2.11 per cent. Licensed and approved projects have ensured their registered implementation progress and schedule. Operational projects have importantly contributed to socioeconomic development, facilitated economic restructuring, generated jobs for labourers, changed the face of urban areas, and increased State budget revenue. Major projects include Samsung mobile phone production project, supporting projects for the Samsung project, Nui Phao mineral processing and production project, Cao Ngan thermal power project, An Khanh I thermal power project, TNG export garment production factories in many districts, 4-star Dong A Plaza Hotel and Trade Centre. Besides, recently started projects comprised VND2,100 billion VINCOM Trade Centre invested by Vingroup Joint Stock Company and VND2,900 billion road to Nui Coc Lake invested by Xuan Truong Company.

How do you assess the implementation process and results of administrative procedure reform in investment attraction in recent years, especially after nearly one year of executing Plan 61/KH- UBND on enforcement of Resolution 35/NQ-CP of the Government dated May 16, 2016?
In recent years, Thai Nguyen has always actively accelerated public administration reform, and created a rational and open mechanism and policy to facilitate business performance and raise Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) rankings on the national scale.

After nearly one year of carrying out Plan 61/KH-UBND on enforcement of the Government Resolution 35/NQ-CP dated May 16, 2016 on business support and development to 2020, Thai Nguyen province has shown its continued efforts to reform administrative procedures: Shortening the average time of business establishment registration from 2.85 days to 2.4 days and investment certification to 15 - 47 days, depending on forms of project, applying information declaration via the internet; reducing the time of granting investment registration certificates to eight days for projects in industrial zones (seven days fewer than the overall regulation on the Law on Investment) and the time of cross-border customs clearance to 10 days for exports and 12 days for imports. By 2020, the cross-border clearance time will be less than 36 hours for exported goods and 41 hours for imported goods (according to Decision 1722/QD-TCHQ dated June 10, 2016 of the General Department of Customs).

Securing the seventh place out of 63 provinces and cities on PCI rankings, how will Thai Nguyen province step up reforms to raise PCI component indices and uplift the overall PCI rankings? As a main advisor to the scheme, how do you assess the province’s efforts in enhancing competitiveness and improving the business environment in the current period?
By maintaining its high position in PCI rankings (ranked seventh among 63 provinces and cities, second in the northern mountainous region), despite four falling component indicators: market entry, land access, time expense, and transparency, Thai Nguyen province continued to assert business satisfaction in local administration. High PCI rankings will be an important factor and a motive force to draw investors and businesses to Thai Nguyen to seek investment opportunities and expand long-term sustainable business.

Without doubt, the province’s efforts to sharpen competitiveness and better the business environment in the current period are worthy of recognition, as they are aimed to accompany and serve businesses. Thai Nguyen has introduced timely solutions to deal with emerging difficulties for them, maintain an equal business environment, and create best conditions and support them to develop strong business performances. The province has adopted and applied many reasonable programmes, policies and mechanisms. For example, the Standing Board of the Provincial Party Committee issued a directive on this field requiring further strengthened leadership of the Party in PCI improvement; the Provincial People’s Committee promulgated Action Plan 33/KH-UBND dated February 27, 2017 on implementation of Resolution 19/NQ-CP dated February 6, 2017 on continued carrying out of main tasks and solutions to better the business environment and enhance national competitiveness in 2017, with an eye to 2020, and Plan 61/KH-UBND dated June 30, 2016 on execution of Resolution 35/NQ-CP dated May 16, 2016 of the Government of Vietnam on business support and development to 2020. The province also formed credit guarantee funds to enable businesses to access capital sources to increase their investment and business opportunities.

Thai Nguyen