Thua Thien Hue: Long Strides in Investment and Business Environment Improvement

3:19:11 PM | 18/8/2017

Carrying out the “Year of Business” and the “Year of Administrative Order and Discipline” in 2017, Thua Thien Hue province has adopted many solutions and activities to accelerate administrative procedure reform, raise the spirit and sense of responsibility of civil servants, invest in essential infrastructure and remove difficulties for enterprises, among other things, in a bid to better mobilise investment resources in infrastructure for production, economic development, environmental protection and social security guarantee. The Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has an interview with Nguyen Van Cao, Chairman of the Thua Thien Hue Provincial People’s Committee, on this issue. Ngo Khuyen reports.

While speeding up the enforcement of Resolution 35/NQ-CP dated May 16, 2016, of the Government on business support and development to 2020, Thua Thien Hue province also defined and carried out activities in the “Year of Business” in 2016. How has this motivated business environment improvement and business development?
In response to central guidelines, the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People’s Council and the Provincial People’s Committee promulgated the Action Plan 103/KH-UBND dated June 28, 2016 on the implementation of Resolution 19-2016/NQ-CP of the Government dated April 28, 2016; the Action Plan 114/KH-UBND dated July 29, 2016 in implementation of Resolution 35/NQ-CP of the Government dated May 16, 2016; and earlier the Action Plan 145/KH-UBND dated December 30, 2015 on activities in the “Year of Thua Thien Hue Business 2016.” This showed the province’s active and positive responses to new requirements and tasks to improve the investment and business environment in the 2016 - 2020 period.

To carry out the Year of Business in 2016, the province promoted receipt and processing of information through hotline channels, electronic information portals, direct exchanges (twice a month) and regular meetings. Thua Thien Hue also promulgated regulations on coordination of inspection of enterprises after they register establishment (overlapping inspection is avoided) and mobilised eligible individual business households to upgrade into corporate entities. The province also executed many solutions to remove difficulties, accelerate site clearance, deploy bank - business connection programme.

New reforms in investment attraction and positive changes in morale and attitudes of civil servants have made long strides in investment and business environment improvement. As a result, in 2016, the province had 609 newly established enterprises, the highest in five years, bringing the total number of active enterprises to 6,600. Also in the year, the province issued investment certificates to 36 domestic direct projects and 12 foreign direct investment projects. It also caught the interest of big domestic corporations like Vingroup, Bitexco, BRG and Viettravel as well as foreign investors like Hilton, Amata, Banchak, Banpu and Kaiokai.

2017 is also the “Year of Business” and the “Year of Administrative Order and Discipline”. What are the central administrative objectives and tasks of all levels of government?
2017 is the second year the province launched the “Year of Business” and the “Year of Administrative Order and Discipline”. The overall objective is creating an open investment and business environment to mobilise most social resources, prioritise resources for infrastructure development to better serve production and economic development, ensure high economic growth, environmental protection and social security. The province set specific targets for the year, e.g. gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth of 8 - 8.5 per cent, total social investment of VND19,000 billion, budget revenue of VND6,856 billion, export value of US$800 million, GRDP per capita of US$2,100, trained labourers accounting for 60 per cent of the workforce, and 16,000 new jobs generated. Thua Thien Hue also aimed to have 800 new enterprises, attract 60 investment projects, generate 95,500 jobs, and earn US$800 million from exports.

To achieve the above objectives, the province has carried out consistent directions and solutions, focusing on the following tasks:

(1) Seriously carrying out Resolution 02-NQ/TU dated July 20, 2016 of the Provincial Party Committee on promoting public administration reform, raising the effectiveness and performance of State apparatus in Thua Thien Hue province in the 2016 - 2020 period. The Provincial People’s Committee has stepped up the review of administrative procedures to reduce the service time.

(2) Focusing on clearing difficulties and obstacles, speeding up the investment disbursement for key projects in tandem with strict management of capital transfer and resolute revocation of sluggish projects. The Provincial People’s Committee will soon issue priority policies to support reputable and potential investors and large projects to create momentum for long-term economic development.

(3) Speeding up the implementation of agricultural restructuring project, stimulating agricultural restructuring and enhancing the productivity and efficiency of agricultural production.

(4) Focusing on raising service quality and exploiting tourist potential; quickening the socialised conservation, operation and promotion of Hue Monuments and world cultural heritages recognised by UNESCO. The province will develop and implement plans to revise the tourism space in Hue City.

(5) Further investing in building essential infrastructure for industrial zones and launching business start-up and support programmes, creating conditions for the formation of larger enterprises to lead the local business community.

The operation of district-level public administrative centres (from April 1, 2017) and the upcoming Provincial Public Administrative Centre is seen as a breakthrough to promote administrative reform, improve the business environment and enhance local competitiveness. Do you have any thoughts to share about this?
The operation of district-level public administrative centres and the Provincial Public Administrative Centre, expected to be launched by the end of 2017, achieved three goals. First of all, individuals and organisations need to go only one place to have administrative procedures solved. Secondly, public administration centres form an intermediary part for citizens and organisations to exercise objective and independent monitoring of document filing and delivery. Thirdly, all records are digitised, enabling citizens and organisations to use online public services at Level 3 and Level 4.

Putting public administrative centres into operation is a breakthrough in public administration reform, helping the province to achieve its goal of all State administrative agencies from the district level upwards to provide all public services online at Level 3, 50 per cent of Level 4 public services online and 30 per cent of administrative procedures received and delivered online at Level 4 by 2020. As a result, the province will be able to form a modern, transparent public administration, create a friendly and simple service for citizens and organisations when they come to State agencies to deal with administrative procedures.

To implement Resolution 35/NQ-CP of the Government dated May 16, 2016, the Thua Thien Hue Provincial People’s Committee issued Plan 114/KH-UBND dated July 29, 2016. On August 24, 2016, the province continues to sign commitments with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to create favourable business environment for enterprises. How have Plan 114/KH-UBND and commitments with VCCI been executed?
The Provincial People’s Committee issued Plan 114 / KH-UBND dated July 29, 2016 on implementation of Resolution 35/NQ-CP on business support and development in Thua Thien Hue province to 2020. Based on that, Thua Thien Hue province has simultaneously carried out tasks and solutions as follows:

1. Public administration reform facilitates businesses:
- Speeding up the simplicity of administrative procedures, reducing compliance costs for administrative procedures in all fields.
- Operating the Thua Thien Hue Public Service Portal, allowing enterprises to perform administrative procedures online: Each enterprise shall be granted one electronic card accessible to all State policy updates and allowed to file electronic administrative documents instead of hard copies.
- The Provincial People’s Committee also approved the establishment of the Provincial Public Administrative Centre and will start operation in mid-late 2017.
- Maintaining bi-monthly business meetings to provide specific action plans, expanding information channels of the Department of Planning and Investment on the Facebook social network to update information, receive and respond to recommendations reflected by individuals and businesses.

2. Creating a favourable environment, supporting enterprises to start up a business, renovate and upgrade technology.

3. Ensuring business rights, equal access to resources and business opportunities for all, building and implementing business connectivity support activities by industry and value chain.

4. Reducing business costs
- Reviewing land legislations towards reducing land rents, land purpose conversion costs and other expenses for enterprises
- Strengthening supports for tax policy, tax declaration, electronic tax payment and electronic tax declaration. Support units have received more than 9,000 phone calls, replied over 300 questions and provided nearly 2,500 direct consultations.
- The tax sector also uses electronic mailboxes as a quick and effective notification tool. Currently, the Provincial Tax Department is delivering newsletters to more than 1,000 registered emails of local businesses.
- Reforming and modernising customs, facilitating import and export activities.

5. Protecting legitimate rights and interests of the business
- Issuing Decision 93/2016/QD-UBND dated December 30, 2016 on regulation on coordination among functional business agencies in enterprise management after registration of establishment.
- The provincial inspectorate issued a regulation on coordination between the Provincial Inspectorate with the Department of Planning and Investment, the Department of Finance, the Provincial Taxation Department, the Provincial State Treasury and the State Bank of Vietnam - Thua Thien Hue on dealing with economic offences.

6. Supporting and attracting investors
- Drafting a handbook on order and procedures of implementation, monitoring and management of non-State-funded investment and construction projects in accordance with Decision 26/2016/QD-UBND of the Provincial People’s Committee dated April 25, 2016.
- Issuing a list of investment attraction projects in Thua Thien Hue province for the 2017 - 2018 period, with an eye to 2020, in accordance with Decision 942/QD-UBND dated May 8, 2017.
- Issuing investment preference and support policies under Decision 19/2017/QD-UBND dated April 21, 2017.