Ha Giang: Breakthrough in Tourism, Cross-border Trade and High-quality Agriculture

10:50:41 AM | 18/7/2019

2019 is a watershed year which is particularly important to the successful delivery of key objectives and tasks in the Resolution of the 16th Ha Giang Provincial Party Congress and the 5-year socioeconomic development plan in 2016 - 2020. Therefore, the Provincial People’s Committee directed the early deployment of assigned targets, closely engaged by all levels of authority and sectors right from the beginning of the year, to complete them in a timely manner. To understand more about these efforts, the Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has an interview with Mr. Nguyen Van Son, Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee of Ha Giang province. Ha Thanh and Vu Thuy report.

2019 is seen as a watershed year, decisive to complete goals and plans set for the 2016-2020 period. How has Ha Giang actively and creatively accelerated breakthrough socioeconomic development?

In 2019, the province determined to achieve key indicators: gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth of 8%, State budget revenue of over VND2,200 billion, GRDP per capita of VND28 million, yearly farming value of VND45.2 million per hectare, industrial production value of over VND6,000 billion, total import-export value of US$550 million, poverty rate of 4.2%, and forest coverage of 56.7%.

To achieve the above objectives, the province adopted eight key tasks to be implemented: Reviewing and assessing resolution targets in 2015-2020, expected to be basically done in 2019; carrying out the resolution of the Provincial Party Executive Committee on economic restructuring; establishing the socioeconomic development master plan till 2030; promoting scientific application to manufacturing industries to enhance economic quality, performance and competitiveness; focusing on developing three local economic pillars, namely tourism, cross-border trade and high-quality agricultural goods; further improving the investment and business environment, foreign affairs, the provincial competitiveness index and business development support; accelerating administrative reforms, especially in the land field to quicken project progress to draw private investment; and speeding up apparatus rearrangement and streamlining, as per the resolution of the 12th Central Committee.

Could you please tell us how the province will attract sustainable investment in the coming time?

The resolution of the 16th Provincial Party Congress defined five key programs to be achieved, including three pillars: agricultural restructuring and new countryside construction program, sustainable tourism development program, and cross-border and national security program. Thus, organic agriculture, branding for key products, combining tourism and border trade will be key to attracting investment for local sustainable development in the coming time.

For agriculture, thanks to different natural and climate conditions, the province has facilitated the development of specific agricultural products such as Shan Tuyet tea, medicinal plants, vegetables and specialty rice. Available soil and water conditions are very suitable for developing organic agricultural production and community tourism. Currently, the province has attracted agricultural and medicinal projects like a dairy cow farming and dairy processing project invested by TH Group, a commercial afforestation project invested by Hao Hung Group and a medicinal herb processing invested by Golden Lotus Company with a total investment of over VND8,400 billion. The total area of ​​organic agricultural production is now relatively large, with rich and diverse categories. However, organic products have not been known by many domestic consumers. Currently, the province has recently carried out organic production standards on Shan Tuyet tea in some localities, with a total area of ​​over 4,500 ha and 19 processing facilities. Some products have been exported to the European Union (EU), the Netherlands, Taiwan (China), South Korea, Germany and other countries. In the coming time, the province will focus on attracting investment, promoting agricultural products, forest products and medicinal products in international markets and planning high-tech agricultural zones.

For tourism, in recent years, Ha Giang tourism has achieved relatively positive progress. Tourist arrivals to the province grow over 10% every year. In 2018, Ha Giang attracted over 1.1 million visitors and earned VND1,150 billion from tourist services. The diversity of national cultural identity, especially the appeal of majestic natural landscapes and geological heritage values of Dong Van Geopark along with over 400 outstanding tourist spots and many distinctive festivals, have exerted a strong pull on domestic and international tourists to boost local tourism and economic development. Recently, the province has attracted a number of potential tourism investors to explore investment opportunities such as Thien Minh Group, Sun Group and TNG Group. To attract tourists as well as tourism investors, Ha Giang province directed further investment in tourism infrastructure development in the Dong Van Karst Plateau, western districts and Ha Giang City to connect tours, improve tourism service quality in order to promote values of Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark, terraced fields, and Chieu Lau Thi Peak in Hoang Su Phi district. The province has developed tourism products together with preserving national cultural values, promoting tourism in international markets, attracting investment funds for eco-tourism projects, high-class resorts and adventure travelling and discovery tours. Ha Giang has, at the same time, formulated policies on management and utilization of tourism resources, and developed attractive tourism products for different seasons.

For cross-border trade, determining cross-border trade as a mainstream and long-term development direction for the province's economy, Ha Giang has focused on improving the infrastructure system in border-gate areas, facilitating Vietnam - China cross-border trade development through provincial border gates. Notable outcomes include Thanh Thuy - Thien Bao Border Gate upgraded to an international border gate; the official opening of Xin Man - Do Long Border Gate; the construction and signing of border gate cooperation programs for opening a trade route between Ha Giang and Wenshan, Yunnan province, China; and the agreement on maintaining 10 pairs of open routes along the border line with Wenshan. In the coming time, the province will concentrate on calling investment capital for traffic routes linking Noi Bai - Lao Cai Highway to Thanh Thuy Border Gate and planning land fund for investors to locate their projects into industrial and economic zones. In the short and medium term, the province will center on renovating and hosting regular dialogues for businesses to timely grasp information and solve administrative problems and related mechanisms and policies on import and export activity management at border gates; prepare long-term trade development conditions in conjunction with economic and industrial zone development and expanded Binh Vang Industrial Park - Phase 2.

To further promote administrative reform, improve the business and investment environment, enhance competitiveness, what are urgent solutions and key tasks, now and for the future?

Three economic pillars: Tourism, cross-border trade, and high-quality agriculture.

In the coming time, to court more investors, Ha Giang province will continue to carry out Resolution 23/NQ-HDND of the Provincial People's Council dated July 21, 2016 on the 5-year socioeconomic development plan in 2016 - 2020, Resolution 17-NQ/TU of the Provincial Party Committee dated September 7, 2018 on economic restructuring to 2030, particularly Plan 48/KH-UBND dated January 31, 2019 on implementation of Resolution 02/NQ-CP of the Government dated January 1, 2019 on continued implementation of main tasks and solutions on improving the business environment and enhancing national competitiveness in 2019 and to 2021. Particularly, the province will publicly and transparently deploy socioeconomic plans; simplify administrative procedures; reduce the time to settle administrative procedures in all fields; launch online public services of Level 3 and Level 4; build the information management software system for private investment projects; build a list of projects calling for investment; implement programs to support and incubate startup projects; implement the Business Development Support Program for science and technology; promote bank - customer connection programs; link bank credit programs to provincial policies; and review and create a clean land fund to attract investment projects.

On this occasion, do you have any suggestions for higher outcomes of utilizing the potential and strengths of Ha Giang - the northernmost land of the fatherland?

With investment attraction policies and administrative reforms that Ha Giang province has achieved in recent years, on this occasion, I hope that Ha Giang province will continue to draw much attention and support from the Party, the State, the Government and central authorities to create favorable conditions for resources, mechanisms and policies for Ha Giang to have more development opportunities.

Thank you very much!

Ha Giang is always ready to welcome organizations and investors to seek investment opportunities in fields where the province is calling for investment capital. The province will support and provide the best conditions for investors to explore local conditions, carry out their investment projects and do business in the locality.