Long An: Resolute for Rapid, Sustainable Economic Growth

5:10:13 PM | 10/1/2019

After three years of executing the Resolution of the 10th Provincial Party Congress (2015 - 2020 term), Long An province has obtained many positive and comprehensive achievements in all aspects, especially in social and economic development. Particularly, Long An has enjoyed very robust economic development, resulting in many new impressive breakthroughs. This is considered a solid foundation for the province to successfully implement the Resolution. In an interview given to the Vietnam Business Forum Magazine, Mr. Pham Van Ranh, Member of the Party Central Committee, Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee and Chairman of People's Council of Long An Province, also affirmed the determination for stronger and more sustainable development. Hoang Lam reports.

Could you tell us more about your outstanding achievements in socioeconomic development in the past three years of carrying out the resolution?
Agriculture, forestry and fishery production has continued to make positive progress. The agricultural development programme driven by high-tech applications and associated with sectoral restructuring, has achieved relatively good outcomes. The National Target Programme on New Countryside Construction is on the right track with 68 communes recognised to meet new countryside standards, accounting for 40.96% of communes.

The industrial and construction sector has expanded really strongly to serve as a driving force for local development. The infrastructure system has been upgraded to serve industrial development in the key economic region and three key projects as stated in the Resolution of the 10th Provincial Party Congress. The province had 16 active industrial parks with an occupancy rate of 80.33%, and 19 small industrial complexes with an occupancy rate of 86.55%. Public administration reform, investment climate improvement and competitiveness enhancement have been increasingly boosted to increase domestic and foreign investment funds into the province.

Trade and service have also developed steadily. Total retail sales of consumer goods and services grew 16.93% a year in the 2016 - 2018 period. Import and export has risen by nearly 20% annually. The province’s exports have been shipped to more than 120 countries and territories in the world, including particularly demanding markets like East Asia, North America and the European Union (EU). State budget revenue has expanded steadily and always exceeded the annual target. The State budget revenue to the GRDP ratio is quite high. Bad debts have been kept as low as 0.86%, lower than the national average and the Mekong River Delta rate.

In addition, the province has also made significant progress in social, cultural, security and political aspects.

These achievements are attributed to innovative leadership, direction and performance of the Provincial Party Committee, the Standing Bureau of the Provincial Party Committee; the focus and endeavour of the Party and the government at all levels; the active participation of the Fatherland Front, social and political organisations, economic sectors and the people with the spirit of resolutely upholding and promoting the solidarity tradition.

What tasks and solutions will Long An province adopt to achieve all targets set by the Resolution?
Long An province is favourably situated in the southern key economic zone on the gateway from Ho Chi Minh City and the Southeast to southwestern provinces and vice versa. It also lies on the national boundary with border gates and river ports and importantly adjoins Ho Chi Minh City - a major economic centre of the country. Therefore, to utilise local potential advantages, grasp every opportunity, overcome challenges, successfully realise the Resolution of the 10th Provincial Party Congress, and build a foundation for rapid and sustainable local development, the Long An Provincial Party Committee is determined to focus on consistent and drastic tasks and solutions in the coming time. Firstly, the province will continue to improve its economic growth and sustainability. Secondly, economic development must go hand in hand with good social and cultural tasks. Thirdly, Long An will effectively carry out national defence tasks, defend sovereignty and border security, maintain political security, social order and safety. Fourthly, it will further streamline the organisational structure, improve working quality of the political system from the provincial to grassroots levels, and strictly and effectively carry out Politburo Directive 05-CT/TW.

I believe that, our achievements over the past half term will create a solid foundation for Long An to achieve the highest targets and tasks set by the Resolution of the 10th Provincial Party Congress and realise the goal of becoming a rapidly and sustainably developing province and a prosperous province in the southern key economic zone and the whole country.

To carry out Resolutions 19-2016/NQ-CP, 19-2017/NQ-CP and 35/NQ-CP of the Government on business environment and national competitiveness and business support and development to 2020, what specific policies and actions has the Long An Provincial Party Committee adopted to support businesses and improve the local business and investment environment, especially in the current context of international economic integration?
The Party and the government of Long An province are determined to deliver timely and consistent leadership in accordance with Resolution 19-2016/NQ-CP, Resolution 19-2017/NQ-CP and Resolution 35/NQ-CP of the Government will help improve the business environment, edge up competitiveness, support and develop businesses, and practically contribute to local rapid and sustainable development. Therefore, its leadership resolutions on fulfilment of political tasks every year, the Provincial Party Committee has made this content one of its central tasks and directed the Steering Board of the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Committee to base on the resolutions of the Government and the Provincial Party Committee to lead competent bodies to launch suitable, specific plans to deliver best outcomes.

Particularly, we focus on promoting administrative reforms to facilitate enterprises to do business, speeding up the review and simplification of administrative procedures to reduce the time and settlement process, thus diminishing problems, costs, time and efforts while bringing higher benefits to people and businesses. The province will uphold the role and responsibility of unit heads and officers for their duties, advocating the State enabling policies, see enterprises as customers to be served, not administered. It will maintain periodic public dialogues with businesses and promptly solve their problems. Provincial leaders also publicise their hotline telephone numbers and email boxes to receive feedback from enterprises and promptly direct the settlement of emerging problems. Long An determines that the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) is one important factor for investment consideration by investors and businesses when they study business investment in the province. Thus, based on annual PCI results, Long An studies and analyses good and bad aspects of index components to introduce effective tasks to achieve desired outcomes.

With consistent solutions, in the 2008 - 2017 period, Long An always secured a high PCI ranking. In 2017, its PCI was ranked 4th among 63 provinces and cities, scoring 66.7 points to climb 11 places and gain 6.05 points over 2016 with all 10 component indexes improving. This result strongly demonstrated the “business support” policy that the province has focused in the past time.

Long An province is hospitable and passionate for solid development. The province is ready to welcome domestic and foreign investors and enterprises. On behalf of local leaders, I pledge to stand steadfast to the motto of “accompanying businesses and investors”. The province sees their hardships or successes as those of the province. In Long An, they are provided the most favourable conditions to successfully execute their projects. We are resolute to develop Long An into a trustworthy, secure and convenient destination where there are many opportunities for new successful development.

Thank you very much!