Thai Binh - New Magnet to Investment Flows

2:59:41 PM | 28/11/2018

From a purely agricultural oasis, the transport infrastructure development enabled Thai Binh province to connect with Red River Delta provinces and many parts of the country. Thai Binh province has also applied many attractive mechanisms and policies, and removed obstacles in administrative procedures and site clearance, thus initially forming a favourable business environment. Moreover, the Prime Minister decided to establish the Thai Binh Economic Zone and, at the same time, attracted many investors such as Truong Hai, Geleximco, Vingroup and FLC, to create new impetus to draw more investment capital into the province. Mr Doan Hong Ky, Director of the Thai Binh Department of Planning and Investment, has an interview with Vietnam Business Forum Magazine on the above contents. Ngo Khuyen reports.

Thai Binh province defined that focusing on administrative reform, enhancing competitiveness and improving the investment and business environment is one of three breakthroughs in 2016 - 2020. How have these contents been materialised and implemented?
Without doubt, Thai Binh province has paid attention to improving the investment and business environment in recent years, right after the first meetings of the Executive Board of the 19th Provincial Party Committee. This is defined as one of three major breakthroughs in 2016 - 2020. Resolution 01-NQ/TU dated May 5, 2016 of the Thai Binh Provincial Party Committee on enhancing the leadership of Party committees and organisations in improving the local investment and business climate to 2020 provides many directions and solutions to create conditions for enterprises, enhance the investment environment and improve the local competitiveness index.

The province also set up the Provincial Public Administrative Centre since 2016 and district administrative centres where all administrative procedures of all sectors are concentrated. Public employees arranged to work in provincial, district and single-window administrative units are all professional and dedicated to handle their workflows in a quick, flexible manner for citizens and businesses. Administrative procedures are streamlined dramatically, on average by 50 per cent, with some reducing workload by 60 - 67 per cent and service time by 50 per cent from regulatory frames.

The Department of Planning and Investment also reduced many administrative procedures relating to investment, business registration and land-use licensing. All procedures are submitted to the Provincial Public Administration Centre for settlement. Investors only need to go to single-window divisions and get results. All obstacles are processed quickly to affirm smooth and well-planned administrative reform. This has been appreciated by central authorities, citizens and businesses.

In addition to long-term orientations, solutions and action programmes, all-tier authorities also adopted various actions to further improve the business climate and enhance the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI). Particularly in the spirit of openness, local authorities hold regular meetings with enterprises, coordinate relevant bodies and localities to discuss measures to remove difficulties and problems against enterprises. Government - business meetings based on specific themes and topics or weekly business corner programmes are effectively solving hardships and obstacles during their operations. This brings businesses and people closer to the government.

Socioeconomic development has also been considered and achieved significant results. Could you please share some remarkable outcomes?
Developing socioeconomic infrastructure, especially transport infrastructure, has always been a top concern for provincial authorities. In recent years, a lot of roads have been built and upgraded, including Thai Binh - Ha Nam Road, National Highway 10 and Provincial Road 251. In particular, coastal roads have been approved by the Government to get VND1,100 b (US$50 million) in the form of build - operate - transfer (BOT) investment. This is an important condition for Thai Binh province to boost investment in industrial development and other economic sectors.

Thai Binh has also paid special attention to energy supply. While upgrading the power transmission network on the one hand, investing in building two large power plants of My Loc - Thai Thuy with the capacity of 1,500 MW on the other hand, the province cooperated with PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP) to invest in the construction of a gas distribution station for industrial development in 20-30 years on the other hand.

Other post, telecom and communication infrastructures have been developed over the years. In particular, the clean water system has reached all communes in the province to meet people’s livelihoods, industrial and tourism facilities.

In addition, social infrastructure has been strengthened. With 1.1 million labourers and many training facilities, the province can meet high-quality, hard-working and creative human resources for business and investment development. Hospitals and healthcare centres have been strengthened too. The province is preparing necessary investment conditions to build 1,000 more beds for people and workers. Besides, the province has carried out mechanisms and policies to support industrial, agricultural, commercial and tourism development, thus making the business and investment environment more attractive in Thai Binh.

What are the major investment attraction strategies of Thai Binh province in the coming time?
In recent years, investment promotion has been paid special attention. First and foremost, the province always attaches great importance to encouraging existing investors to introduce new investors to Thai Binh.
Every year, the province organises investment promotion campaigns in other countries, particularly in Japan and South Korea. Many big enterprises are keen on investing in Thai Binh province, including Tokyo Gas Group which conducts research on investment facilities that distribute gas for the Southeast Asia; and Korea Electric Group that researches investment in 4,000-MW gas-fired thermoelectric plant.

Particularly, in July 2017, the Prime Minister issued a decision on establishment of 30,000-ha Thai Binh Economic Zone spreading over 30 communes, one town and running along more than 50 km of Thai Binh coastline. This is a favourable condition for investors to gather investors in Thai Binh province and some have proposed deploying or expanding industrial zone investment projects in the economic zone such as Thuy Truong Industrial Park and Viglacera Industrial Park.

The province also planned a number of tourist resorts in the economic zone, including Con Den Resort, Dong Minh Resort, Dong Chau Resort and Con Vanh Resort. Some domestic and foreign enterprises have studied investment options in the above resorts. Given stable political and social security and the unity, openness and friendliness of the government, Thai Binh province will surely gather more investors and send the province to a new high.