Binh Phuoc: Economic Restructuring Coupled with Growth Model Change

3:46:48 PM | 17/10/2019

Binh Phuoc province achieved practical results in socioeconomic development after it endeavored to restructure the economy in an inclusive manner and change the growth model. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr. Nguyen Van Tram, Chairman of Binh Phuoc Provincial People’s Committee. Hoang Lam reports.

Compared with the other of the 13 provinces in the Cambodia - Laos - Vietnam (C-L-V) development triangle, what are advantages of economic development of Binh Phuoc?

The C-L-V development triangle, established in 1999, covers the border junction area of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The development triangle consists of 13 provinces: Ratanakiri, Stung Treng, Mondulkiri and Kratie of Eastern Cambodia; Attapu, Salavan, Sekong and Champasak of Southern Laos; and Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Binh Phuoc provinces of Vietnam.

With a special position in the C-L-V development triangle, Binh Phuoc joins C-L-V provinces and the Southern Key Economic Region of Vietnam (Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Ho Chi Minh City and other localities) with road vehicles through National Highway 14, National Highway 13 and border gates. Therefore, Binh Phuoc plays a role in promoting economic development and trade exchanges in the triangle with Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, and other localities.

2018 was the first year Binh Phuoc province’s budget revenue exceeded the target with VND8,279 billion, relatively higher than the targets assigned by the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam and the Binh Phuoc Provincial People’s Council. Why did the province have this success? What specific solutions has the province focused on to achieve high success in state budget revenue, and gradually balance its budget collection and expenditure?

In 2018, the province’s budget revenue totaled VND8,279 billion, 60% higher than the target assigned by the Ministry of Finance and 18% higher than the revised target of the Provincial People’s Council. The excess value was VND621 billion.

The sharp rise in total budget revenue is mainly driven by domestic revenue (VND7,498 billion, equal to 164% of the target assigned by the Ministry of Finance and 118% of the adjusted target set by the Provincial People’s Council). As many as 13 out of 17 revenue items achieved and exceeded the adjusted estimates assigned by the Provincial People’s Council. Targets surpassed included collections from foreign-invested enterprises, registration fees, environmental duties, land rents, land-use fees, dividends and after-tax profits of State companies, mineral extraction, lottery, and other budget revenue items. Customs revenue reached VND704 billion, equal to 116% of the estimate assigned by the Ministry of Finance, VND46 billion more than the estimated value. The high level of contributions to the budget covers almost all fields, reflecting stable and strong local socioeconomic development in the past year.

While the world economy is volatile and declining, Binh Phuoc's budget revenue results showed efforts of the whole provincial political system over the past time. With the high resolution and close guidance of the Executive Board of the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People’s Council and the Provincial People's Committee plus the active and close coordination of agencies and localities, Binh Phuoc managed to overcome difficulties and complete excess budget revenue in a sustainable manner, making an important contribution to realizing local socioeconomic development programs and objectives.

In addition, making the business environment better and the local competitiveness sharper is seen as a priority task. Agency heads are responsible to the Provincial People's Committee for their assigned tasks and targets of improving the local business environment and competitiveness, illustrated through important indicators such as the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), the Vietnam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI), the Public Administration Reform Index (PAR Index), the Satisfaction Index of Public Administration Services (SIPAS), and the Administrative Procedures Compliance Costs Index (APCI). The provincial leaders always pay attention to difficulties faced by enterprises. Professional agencies and units proactively review and advise on reducing business conditions, coordinating well with relevant bodies to solve proposals put forth by enterprises to facilitate them to develop and contribute more to the budget.

To get higher budget revenue, in the coming time, Binh Phuoc province will implement a series of solutions to improve the business and investment environment and facilitate them to do business. The province will focus on addressing difficulties, speeding up key projects, and ensuring disbursement of more public investment in 2019 than in 2018; concentrate on directing budget revenue collection to achieve VND9,000 billion this year; effectively use revenue sources and fight against budget revenue losses, especially in non-state industrial and commercial sectors. Binh Phuoc will particularly focus on businesses engaged in hotel, restaurant, petroleum, transportation and construction fields.

At the same time, the province will focus on urbanization development program by constructing Dong Xoai City as a provincial economic and political center, Binh Long, Phuoc Long and Chon Thanh towns as driving forces of development for surrounding areas, and forming urban residential areas associated with industrial parks.

Binh Phuoc is one of three provinces in Vietnam with the highest heat radiation level. Thus, it has great potential for developing solar power projects. What are special mechanisms and policies that the province has taken to attract investors to tap this advantage? How are the results achieved?

In recent years, many investors have come to survey and propose solar power projects in Binh Phuoc. These projects use renewable energy - friendly to the environment and fitting to sectoral development priorities of the province (Resolution 31/2017/NQ-HDND dated July 19, 2017). In addition, the province has a large land fund and lake surface planned for solar power development. Currently, the Provincial People’s Committee submitted to the Ministry of Industry and Trade for approval of over 40 solar power projects, of which six were approved by the ministry and the Prime Minister. The licensed projects were invested by Hung Hai Group and Thac Mo Hydroelectric Joint Stock Company with a total installed capacity of 850 MKW transmitted by the 220-KV Loc Ninh - Binh Long transmission line.

In the coming time, the Provincial People’s Committee will continue to work with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and concerned ministries and agencies to complete dossiers and approve solar power development projects, and, at the same time, complete the adjusted land use plans as a basis for project implementation.

The highest goal that Binh Phuoc sets out in 2019 is promoting comprehensive and inclusive economic restructuring and accelerating fast and sustainable economic growth. So far, what are the positive results of the province's economic restructuring? What are the directions for the future?

With the goal of restructuring the economy and changing the growth model by enhancing quality, performance and competitiveness, Binh Phuoc province has carried out a roadmap and taken appropriate steps to overcome weaknesses and disadvantages and fully tap all available potential advantages. Thus, the province's economic structure has shifted in the right direction. Specifically, the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) expanded 7.54% in the first six months of 2019 (versus 7.3-7.5% targeted for the year), of which industry and construction sector grew by 11.1%; services added by 5.93%; agriculture, forestry and fishery increased by 4.72%; and product tax minus product subsidy rose by 9.71% over the same period in 2018

Currently, the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Committee are to prepare documents of the 11th Provincial Party Congress and the 13th National Party Congress. To complete this important task, from now until the end of the year, to execute instructions of the Standing Board of the Provincial Party Committee, relevant agencies and units in the province are urgently coordinating with the consultant (Fulbright University Research Group) to review and appraise the province’s competitiveness, its strategic direction to 2030 and further to 2045, and Action Plan and Program in 2020-2025.

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