Thai Nguyen: More Dynamic and Opener for More Comprehensive Development

3:25:45 PM | 8/6/2017

In recent years, Thai Nguyen province has maintained an gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth of 15 per cent a year, an industrial production growth of 15 per cent, and balanced State budget growth of 17 per cent (excluding land use levies). The Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) of the province is ranked among the Top 10 in the country in three consecutive years. Vietnam Business Forum has an exclusive interview with Mr Vu Hong Bac Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee, on efforts for socio-economic development of Thai Nguyen province. Ngo San reports.

According to the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 260/QD-TTg on approval of the master plan for Thai Nguyen socio-economic development to 2020, with a vision to 2030, Thai Nguyen province will be developed into a modern industrial province and a regional centre of industry and service, especially education and training by 2020. Could you please tell us objectives and solutions that Thai Nguyen province has taken to realise the Prime Minister’s directions?
To achieve the objective of building Thai Nguyen into a modern industrial province and an industrial and service centre of the northern midland and mountainous region under the Prime Minister's Decision No. 260/QD-TTg, Thai Nguyen province has materialised its objectives and tasks for the 5-year plan development plan from 2016 to 2020, stated in the Resolution of the 19th Provincial Party Congress. Accordingly, Thai Nguyen has clearly defined the overall objective: “Raising the leadership and combativeness of the whole Party; building a clean, strong political system; promoting democracy, unity and creativity; mobilising and utilising resources efficiently; developing the rapid and sustainable economy, quickly building Thai Nguyen into a modern industrial province and a centre of industry, service, health, education and training for the northern midland and mountainous region.”

On that basis, the province has worked out specific objectives as follows:
(1) Average annual GRDP growth of 10 per cent
(2) Economic structure in 2020: Industry and construction with 53 per cent, service with 36 per cent, and agriculture - forestry - fishery with 11 per cent.
(3) Average annual industrial production growth of 15 per cent
(4) Average annual production value growth of agriculture, forestry and fishery of 4 per cent
(5) Annual export growth of 9 per cent; local export growth of 20 per cent or higher
(6) Balanced State budget revenue growth of 16 per cent a year (excluding land-use rights tax)
(7) GRDP per capita of VND86 million in 2020.
(8) At least 70 per cent communes meet new rural standards by 2020.
(9) Firmly consolidating results of universalisation of all education levels; 80 per cent of schools will reach national standards by 2020; and 8 per cent of ethnic minority students will be enrolled in boarding schools.
(10) At least 90 per cent of families will be certified cultured families; 70 per cent of urban residential units, 65 per cent of rural villages and 90 per cent or more of working offices will be certified cultured by 2020.
(11) 80 per cent of communes will meet national healthcare criteria (according to new criteria) and the rate of malnourished children at the age of less than five will be lower than 10 per cent by 2020.
(12) 15,000 jobs will be created each year and 70 per cent of workers will be professionally trained by 2020.
(13) Poverty rate will be slashed by 2 per cent annually (according to new standards).
(14) The rate of forest cover in the province will be more than 50 per cent and 95 per cent of rural residents have access to hygienic water by 2020.

Major tasks and solutions:
On economy: Flexibly and effectively applying mechanisms and policies to mobilise resources for socio-economic development; promoting economic restructuring; focusing on effectively carrying out new rural development programmes; strengthening the management of finance, banking and credit operations
On socio-economic and urban infrastructure development investment: Mobilising and using capital resources to invest in production and business development and complete socio-economic infrastructure system; improve planning quality, strictly managing urban planning; planning, developing and effectively using Nam Thai Nguyen Economic Zone (including Song Cong City, Pho Yen Town and Phu Binh District) to become a driving force for socio-economic development of the entire province; building a synchronous urban infrastructure system together with environmental protection.

Harmonising the relationship of urban development and new rural construction in order to bridge the gap between rural development and urban development; strengthening natural resources management, environmental protection, natural disaster prevention and climate change response.

On culture and society: Further reforming and developing education and training; carrying out consistent social policies; improve the quality of people's health care, population work and family planning; developing culture, physical training and sports, information and communication; developing science and technology.

Strengthening national defence, maintaining security in the new situation; creating a stable environment for socio-economic development.

Strengthening Party building, with a focus on politics, ideologies and organisation; further renewing the leadership manner of Party committees; improving the leadership and combativeness of grassroots Party organisations and the authority of Party members; renovating and improving the quality of personnel affairs.

Intensifying and closely following establishments, regularly inspecting and supervising the implementation of the Resolution, promptly detecting and settling new issues and creating conditions for concerned units to fulfil their tasks.

Thai Nguyen targets to balance its budget and send a surplus to the central government by 2020. Would you talk about this important milestone?
I am confident that Thai Nguyen will soon fulfil the target of balancing the State Budget and will strive to get it done ahead of schedule. 2016 was the first year to execute the Resolution of the Provincial Party Congress. Thai Nguyen collected over VND9,600 billion for the State Budget in excess of VND3,000 billion over the yearly plan. In the first five months of 2017, the State Budget collected nearly VND5,200 billion, equalling 57 per cent of the annual plan. Given this progress, the target of balancing budget collection and expenditure may finish two years ahead of schedule.

Thai Nguyen and 20 other provinces and cities signed a commitment to ensuring a favourable business environment for enterprises with VCCI. How has this commitment signed by the Provincial People’s Committee and VCCI on January 16, 2016 been carried out?
Thai Nguyen province signed a commitment with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to create an enabling business environment, with the main contents as follows: Supporting and creating favourable conditions for enterprises to develop; simplifying administrative procedures; promoting SME supports, equitising State-owned enterprises, etc. It is clear that most of commitments of Thai Nguyen province to VCCI which have been executed as planned. Commitment objectives are also simultaneously implemented by agencies, localities and the business community. The provincial government has focused on directing departments and sectors to work out sector-specific solutions to support local businesses such as capital support and policy support, issued a specific action programme called "Thai Nguyen: 3 companions, 5 supports" to build up the business confidence in provincial government and in the fair investment environment in Thai Nguyen province.

In many localities, commitments and determinations of leaders (heads of agencies) to accompany with the businesses are very strong but tasks assigned to lower bodies (enforcement bodies) lack concert. How about this in Thai Nguyen province?
After nearly one year of carrying out Resolution 35 of the Government, Thai Nguyen province has achieved many results like reducing the time needed to handle business registration procedures, investment procedures and tax code and customs procedures for enterprises. The province has hosted dialogues with the business community and listened to their opinions and aspirations to tune up its policies and solutions.

However, when the Resolution is enforced, the province still faces certain limitations. For example, the awareness of civil servants and officials of Resolution 35 is not thorough and the superior direction is lack of resolution while dialogues with the business community initially only accepted recommendations from the business. Supervision lacks ultimateness. To avoid the status of “hot in the upper, cold in the lower”, the province will continue to strengthen the direction and inspection of local authorities to ensure unity and consistence in action. Every month and every quarter, the provincial government has directed provincial agencies district-level People’s Committees to report on the implementation of the Resolution. It has also strengthened communications on the Government Resolution to officials, public servants and people on the mass media to their awareness of enterprises’ roles and positions in socio-economic development. With this, enterprises and people exercise the rights of supervising all tiers of government.

In response to the National Start-up Programme, what actions and solutions has Thai Nguyen taken to promote entrepreneurship and start-up process, especially to young people?
In response to the National Start-up Programme, like other provinces and cities in the country, Thai Nguyen province offers a number of solutions to inspire entrepreneurship as follows:

+ Financial solution: The province set up the Credit Guarantee Fund to facilitate enterprises to access credit sources.

+ Policy solution: Thai Nguyen province promulgated Plan No. 61/KH-UBND in implementation of the Government Resolution No. 35/NQ-CP dated May 16, 2016 on business support and development to 2020. On February 27, 2017, the Thai Nguyen Provincial People's Committee issued Plan No. 33/KH-UBND on the Action Plan to execute the Resolution 19/2007/NQ-CP of the Government dated February 6, 2017 on continued implementation of major tasks and solutions to improve the business environment and enhance national competitiveness in 2017 and to 2020.

+ Communication solution: The Thai Nguyen Television broadcasts two episodes of the “Thai Nguyen: 3 companions, 5 supports for enterprises and entrepreneurs” programme a month. The programme has inspired entrepreneurship and creativity in entrepreneurs, especially young people who seek to start up a business.

Besides, the province organises government-business dialogues to receive feedbacks and opinions from the business community and entrepreneurs in the province. Provincial leaders provide information on the market, on local investment projects, and business fields that the province encourages people and enterprises to invest in. The “Q&A” Programme where people send questions to authorities is organised regularly to facilitate people to send questions and complaints. This is also a policy explanation information channel and an important information sharing channel.