Over the past five years, despite facing numerous difficulties and challenges, Gia Lai province is still one of economic high performers with an average annual GDP growth of more than 7%, a budget revenue of over VND3,541 billion, 11.2% higher than the estimation. This achievement results from workable measures to improve the business environment and attract investment for local economic development.
Expanding connectivity, joint venture
Knowing that renovating and improving investment promotion is an important work to create momentum for local development, Gia Lai has launched various investment promotion forms based on investors’ practical needs, and provided complete, detailed and practical information for each project. At the same time, the province has proactively contacted big well-reputed investors with strong financial potential or global value chains. In addition to keeping annual investment promotion conferences, Gia Lai actively cooperates with and regards investors from Ho Chi Minh City as potential and long-term partners. After 15 years of investment cooperation, 26 investors in Ho Chi Minh City invested over VND6,300 billion in 27 projects in Gia Lai province, mainly engaged in agriculture, forestry, hydroelectricity, residence and trade. In contrast, Gia Lai businesses invested in 22 projects in HCM City.
In 2018, Gia Lai province remarkably achieved very satisfactory results in investment attraction and unlocked many opportunities for businesses and investors. The province had licensed 58 projects with VND23,800 billion of investment capital, including 42 projects with nearly VND5,100 billion placed into operation. Typical projects included a VND247 billion fruit juice processing plant in Mang Yang, a VND125 billion clean water plant with a daily capacity of 9,000 cubic meters in Chu Se district, and a VND160 billion clean water plant with a daily capacity of 9,500 cubic meters in An Khe.
Additionally, the Gia Lai Provincial People’s Committee signed a memorandum of understanding with 12 projects worth VND15,320 billion. International nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) funded over US$10.6 million for 36 projects, including US$300,000 disbursed for eight projects in 2018. Moreover, Gia Lai is assessed to have great potential for renewable energy industry, including wind power and solar power. To tap this energy, TTC Group and Gia Lai Electricity Joint Stock Company (GEC) inaugurated and put into use 49-MW TTC Krong Pa solar power plant on an area of over 70 ha, costing more than VND1,400 billion for construction. The facility generates 103 million kWh of electricity for the national grid a year to serve about 47,000 households and help reduce CO2 emissions by about 29,000 tons a year. Determining investors, expanding partnerships and establishing cooperative ventures can help solve social issues and support local socioeconomic development.
Towards investor satisfaction
Drastically reforming administrative procedures, enhancing publicity and transparency of public services, tightening administrative discipline in public agencies to satisfy citizens and businesses so as to draw more investors to the province, the Gia Lai Provincial People’s Committee has focused on eradicating obstacles relating to investment attraction procedures in the province. One of key tasks is to develop and synchronously apply a quality management system to administrative agencies under the TCVN ISO 9001: 2008 national standards. Up to now, all 53 provincial and district-level agencies and 201 communal units have quality management systems meeting TCVN ISO 9001:2008 standards.
Mr. Luu Trung Nghia, Director of the Department of Science and Technology of Gia Lai province, said that the application of national standard quality management system has helped solve work smoothly, promptly and effectively, especially to simplify regulations and reduce negative impacts in dealing with administrative procedures for organizations, individuals and businesses.
In addition, the Provincial People’s Committee directs branches to proactively arrange human and material resources for the “electronic single-window division”; reviews, inspects and clarifies the responsibility and accountability of unit leaders if there are weaknesses in administrative reform. Quick action and settlement is required for public harassment business registration, investment, construction and land.
“Notably, for the first time, the Department of Planning and Investment proactively made a memorandum of understanding with many related parties: If investment documents filed by companies are complete, the work will be settled in the shortest possible time. This work is closely monitored by the Provincial People’s Committee and any unit or individual that intentionally causes bottlenecks in the overall progress will be strictly handled,” said Director Ho Phuoc Thanh of the Department of Planning and Investment.
Gia Lai leaders define that improving the business environment, enhancing competitiveness to draw resources for local economy development, as a breakthrough stage. On this basis, the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Committee host regular government - business meetings and dialogues at all levels to learn about opinions, feelings and aspirations of enterprises to direct concerned authorities and localities to adopt various solutions to immediately deal with difficulties in investment faced by enterprises.
Director Ho Phuoc Thanh said, quickly solving company-related procedures in a day is a motto of Gia Lai's public administration service model. Accordingly, the time for completing a business establishment application is two days (the dossier includes documents for corporate seal, tax code, bank account number among others) and the time for settling business registration change procedures is a day.
In addition, the department launched an automatic business identification system; and joined the network with customs, treasury and finance authorities. This model is considered an important step to reform administrative procedures, improve the quick and effective delivery of public services for businesses, and help significantly reduce market entry costs for them when they carry out investment licenses. However, Gia Lai has still faced numerous difficulties in attracting investment, in which, the progress of attracting and calling projects is still slow because of sluggish administrative procedures.
Being aware of these shortcomings, Chairman of Gia Lai Provincial People’s Committee Vo Ngoc Thanh pledged: Despite being a mountainous province, Gia Lai is determined to harness its potential and development space to attract, share and accompany investors when they are in the province. In the years to come, the province will adopt flexible mechanisms and policies to create a favorable and open investment environment, with special priorities and incentives given to businesses investing in infrastructure construction, processing industry, product consumption, key agricultural projects, hi-tech agricultural zones, and ecotourism with a pristine culture of upland identity.
Phan Hoa (Vietnam Business Forum)