Lai Chau Removes Barriers for Business

3:02:43 PM | 25/12/2017

With a view to mobilizing resources for the effective exploitation of its potential and advantages, in recent years, Lai Chau province has produced a number of good mechanism and policies; proactively removed the barrier of administrative procedures, and enhanced the quality of its officials and employees. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Nguyen Quang Huy, Director of Department of Planning and investment of Lai Chau province. Ngo Khuyen reports. 

What do you think about the result of investment attraction of Lai Chau province since 2016?

From 2016 to the end of October 2017, there were 56 projects approved by the province’s leader with the total registered investment capital of VND9.209 billion (29 projects in agriculture sector with investment capital of VND8.111 billion, 21 in trade and service sector with VND920 billion, 6 in agriculture – forestry sector with VND158 billion); notably the Hoang Lien Son pass tourism Project by Hoang Lien Son Group, the hotel and trade - service complex building by Hung Hai Construction Limited Company (with the investment capital of 550 billion dong); Lai Chau wholesale Market Project by 10 Lai Chau Limited Company (with the investment capital of VND95 billion). Up to now, there are 179 projects throughout the province with total investment capital of VND38.376 billion (18 in agriculture and forestry, VND5.785 billion; 121 in construction industry, VND30.562 billion; and 40 in trade and service, VND2.092 billion). The province has also approved and enabled TH True Milk Group to conduct 3 investment projects (dairy planning, medicine planting and tea planting); collaborated with Vietnam Association for Macadamia and Lien Viet Post Bank for a workshop on loan and training to plant macadamia, enabling the association to conduct the survey on macadamia planting.

Given the context of limited resources, in order to make use of competitive advantage, which specific sectors and areas will Lai Chau focus on?
The department of planning and investment of Lai Chau has proactively advised the People’s Committee on attracting investment with the focus on the following sectors:

Regarding agriculture – forestry – fishery development: establishing and developing concentrated cultivation areas of high economic value, creating stable sources of raw materials for establishments and industrial processing plants such as tea, rubber, cinnamon, paint, temperate crops such as medicinal plants, flowers, and fruit trees in Tam Duong, Sin Ho, Phong Tho, Muong Te. Continue to attract organizations and individuals who are interested in and invest in: aquatic products cultivating and processing in the hydro power reservoirs such as Lai Chau, Huoi Quang, Ban Chat, and Son La. Encourage the enterprises to invest in and develop: planting economic and productive forest, establishing high quality wood product processing factory in Than Uyen, Tan Uyen, Muong Te, Phong Tho districts.

Regarding tourism and service development: Continue to develop tourism infrastructure, various types of tourism such as ecotourism, resort tourism, attract businesses to invest in tourism site of Hoang Lien Son pass, hydro power tour, tourism cities such as Nam Tang, Nam Hang, Sin Ho highland, hot mineral springs tourism site in Phong Tho, Tam Duong, Tan Uyen districts, build tourism site in Pu Dao, Sin Ho highland; invest in tourism infrastructure of Hon village cave. Effective exploit the cave tourism of Tien Son, Ban Hon (Tam Duong district), Pu Sam Cap, Gia Khau (Lai Chau city). At the same time, attract the investment in trade and service development as well as in warehousing infrastructure, and supporting the import and export of the province over the borders and border gates.

Could you please share your views on the implementation and the results of the reforming of administrative procedures for the province’s investment attraction in recent years?

Over the past time, the province has paid special attention to the improvement of investment environment, particularly the administrative procedures for investment attraction. The department of planning and investment of Lai Chau has reviewed, adjusted, supplemented and abolished the administrative procedures on: business registration, investment policy decision-making level, investment registration certification, all of these have been carried out under the 2014 Law of Investment, 2014 Law of Enterprises, Decision 852/QD-UBND dated 12 July 2017 on publication of administrative procedures under the department’s competence. The department is now making policy on the encouragement of investment attraction in agriculture sector. The department is also focusing on training and educating officials and employees in carrying out administrative procedures for investment attraction. Up to now, the average time for enterprise establishment is 1.5 days since the receiving of valid dossier (1.5 day down compared to regulation), the rate of procedures settled before deadline is 90 percent, the time for investment policy appraisal and approval is 25 days at most.

Lai Chau province has been showing strong determination in improving the business and investment environment and enhancing business’s competitiveness by approving and issuing a number of important policies and making measures, among which is the Action Plan on Improving Investment Environment and Enhancing Business’s Competitiveness of Lai Chau in the period of 2016-2020 (Decision 424/QD-UBND dated 11 April 2016 by Lai Chau People’s Committee). What do you think about this determination and its outcomes, particularly after a year implementing Decision 424/QD-UBND?
Over the last time, the province has issued a number of mechanisms and taken measures to improve the investment and business environment in order to attract investment, creating favourable investment and production environment for enterprises, raising the provincial competitiveness index, such as: reviewing, amending policy to attract investment throughout the province, improving the executive management quality, administrative reform, particularly focusing on reviewing, simplifying and abolishing the unnecessary administrative procedures; issuing the Action Plan on the improvement of business and investment environment and enhancement of the province’s competitiveness in the period of 2016-2020; organizing workshops and conferences on improving business environment and enhancing Lai Chau’s competitiveness; organizing meetings amongst enterprises, answering the questions of the people and enterprises in the forum “People, enterprises ask, State agencies answer” on the provincial website.

All of these have shown the province’s determination in improving business and investment environment and enhancing the competitiveness. The result is, up to now, the province’s business environment has been gradually improved, highly valued by the business circle, for example: easier access to the market, more transparent business environment, better cost of market accessing and other unofficial costs. In 2016, the provincial PCI scored 53.46 points, 0.69 points up compared to that of 2015; market accessing indicators, transparency, time costs, unofficial costs were improved and increased. However, the improvement of the business investment environment is still slow, the administrative reform is still limited, the measure of governance and public administration efficiency, the administrative reform index, the competitiveness index of the province also ranks low; the implementation of online public service level 3 and 4 is not effective; some units at ward level taking charge of receiving and returning administrative records under one-stop, on-stop shop mechanism do not work well. Therefore, in the coming time, the province needs to make more efforts in implementation.

On 28 February 2017, Lai Chau People’s Committee issued Plan 332/KH-UBND on the implementation of Decision 19-2017/NQ-CP by the Government on continuing implementing duties and taking measures to improve business environment and enhance national competitiveness in 2017, vision to 2020 throughout the province. Could you share your opinions, from the perspective of the main advisor for the Plan, on advantages and disadvantages of the implementation of this Plan and what is the main duty in current time?

Right after the issuance of Resolution 19-2017/NQ-CP dated 6 February 2017 by the Government, our Department advised the provincial People’s Committee to issue the Action Plan (Plan 332/KH-UBND dated 28 February 2017) on the implementation, specifying the objectives according to the roadmap of procedural rules, clearly defining the responsibilities of the implementing agencies; every quarter, the provincial People's Committee report to the Government on its implementation. In the process of implementation, there are some difficulties:

- Information providing on Decision 19-2017/NQ-CP is not effective; there is not enough attention from some departments and branches.
- Decision 19-2017/NQ-CP contains a lot of information and index for many levels and branches to access. Some agencies are not active and proactive in investigating the methods, resulting in the lack of data for monitoring and evaluating all the indexes.
- Some agencies in charge of monitoring the index do not well collaborate with related agencies to make full reports.

Duties need to be done:

- Continue implementing the duties and taking measures under Plan 332/KH-UBND on implementing Decision 19-2017/NQ-CP.

- Raising the awareness of all levels on the importance of the improvement of business and investment environment. Enhancing the effectiveness of information providing and training Decision 19-2017/NQ-CP; The agencies taking charge of monitoring the index need to proactively research the methods and well collaborate with others in implementation and evaluation; strictly comply to the the rules on reporting according to Plan 332.

- Promoting administrative reforms, with the focus on administrative procedures reform, facilitating and reducing costs and time for enterprises and the people; making administrative procedures and time for online settlement more transparent, publicly listing at the place for receiving and returning administrative procedures.