This is the affirmation by Chairman of the An Giang Provincial People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Binh to Vietnam Business Forum. He said that An Giang province is strengthening natural resource management, environmental protection, natural disaster mitigation, and climate change response and adopting strategic breakthroughs to restructure the economy, change the growth pattern and improve productivity, quality, efficiency and competitiveness.
Could you please introduce the socioeconomic development of An Giang province in the past time?
In recent years, although the volatile world economy has exerted substantial impacts on socioeconomic targets of Vietnam in general and An Giang province in particular, with its determination to deal with difficulties and challenges, An Giang province achieved positive progress in socioeconomic situation in 2019.
Furthermore, the economic structure has been shifted towards a positive direction, the business investment environment has been further improved, and the quality and performance of the private sector has been further upgraded. Rural infrastructure and appearance have been given a facelift and increasingly improved. This result comes with the effective deployment of the National Target Program on New Countryside Construction.
In the economic panorama of the province, agriculture and tourism, two key industries, have also developed favorably.
What affected and inspired An Giang to achieve the above results?
The first motivation is that the Government of Vietnam paid more attention to institutional reforms and created favorable conditions for businesses to invest in 2018 and 2019. This outlook will be promoted in 2020. In this context, with advantages and difficulties coming together, An Giang proceeded on its working agenda defined right at the beginning of the year and added extra contents based on local actual situations. It directed all levels and branches of government to consistently and firmly execute Governmental Resolution 01/NQ-CP dated January 1, 2019 on main tasks and solutions to fulfil socioeconomic development plans and State budget estimates in 2019, and Resolution 21/NQ-HDND dated December 7, 2018 of the Provincial People’s Council on socioeconomic development tasks in 2019.
Secondly, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector saw more development prospects as global food prices rose and the province's export market was increasingly expanded. Agricultural reform and restructuring started to have positive changes. Scientific and technological application to agricultural production has been implemented in practice. The agricultural restructuring plan, which had been implemented for nearly five years, began to take effect to spur growth. The National Target Program on New Countryside Construction in the 2016-2020 period achieved many results and made positive contributions to economic development.
In addition, the effective carrying out of Governmental Resolution 02/NQ-CP on continued implementation of key tasks and solutions to improve the business environment and enhance national competitiveness in 2019 and to 2021 was also one reason to motivate local economic development. Accordingly, the province stepped up administrative reforms, placed people and businesses at the heart of public service. The An Giang Public Administrative Service Center worked quite effectively and solved over 99% of administrative procedures on time. The Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) and the Public Administration Reform Index (PAR Index) rose higher than previous years.
Improving growth quality and green growth is a matter of increasing concern. How will An Giang continue to implement this strategy?
In the coming time, the province will continue to carry out various solutions to attract investment; not at all costs, but selecting projects with environmentally friendly advanced technology that generates low emissions.
Accordingly, agriculture is defined as one of two key economic sectors of the province beside tourism. Therefore, in order for agriculture to truly become a driving force of economic development, it is necessary to develop commercial agricultural production on a large scale, constantly improve agricultural productivity, quality, value and efficiency, and increase domestic and international competitiveness. In order to achieve these, agriculture must be reformed from the mindset, from development by acreage, productivity and output to a new approach to economic value and efficiency per land unit. The province will drastically renovate and apply science and technology, and effectively take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in production, develop deep processing and fine processing industries to create added values; and gradually build An Giang agriculture into a pillar, a driving force and a foundation for the development of other industries.
Besides, An Giang province is strengthening natural resource management, environmental protection, natural disaster mitigation, and climate change response and adopting strategic breakthroughs to restructure the economy, changing the growth pattern and improve productivity, quality, efficiency and competitiveness.
Could you tell us more about the province’s primary and strategic directions for socio-economic development in the coming time?
As an agricultural province with trade and service advantages, An Giang’s investment resources for economic development are determined in the order of priority of “agriculture, trade - services, industry - construction”. In particular, agriculture and tourism are two key economic sectors and they lay the foundation for other sectors to develop.
Specifically, agriculture will change from the development approach based on acreage, productivity and output to the approach based on economic value and efficiency achieved per unit of land. The province has implemented agricultural restructuring and built a new countryside. For tourism, An Giang will build a spearhead economic sector, become an attractive destination with the unique cultural identity and people of An Giang, and shape an image of prestigious, quality and competitive tourism in the Mekong Delta and the whole country. The province will strive to bring An Giang to the list of national tourist destinations and form An Giang tourism brand. The province is mobilizing many investment resources for tourism and building diverse and unique quality tourism products to meet tourist needs. In particular, the priority to focus on developing four typical types of tourism: spiritual tourism, sightseeing tourism, ecological tourism, and historical and cultural tourism.
To realize the above orientations, An Giang will continue to effectively carry out instructions of the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Council on local socioeconomic development tasks, especially the construction, completion and implementation of the Project “An Giang economic restructuring - Breakthrough towards sustainable development”. This project is expected to be a leverage and direction leading to a series of associated economic development policies. In addition, the province will focus on implementing its tasks of further improving the business investment environment; promoting growth; encouraging and facilitating private development; support and facilitating production and business; removing hardships against businesses; and turning the private sector into an important engine of the economy.
In addition, the province will keep promoting and making more substantial changes as it carries out strategic breakthroughs and restructures the economy in line with changing growth patterns; improves economic productivity, quality and efficiency and competitiveness; drastically renovates and applies science and technology, and effectively utilizes advantages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. An Giang will pay attention to developing culture and society, ensuring social security and improving the material and spiritual life of the people.
Thank you very much!
In 2019, the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of An Giang province rose 7.02% over 2018, the highest in the last five years. The State budget revenue reached VND6,700 billion, 10.2% higher than the estimate and 11.8% higher than in 2018. Total social investment capital was VND31,887 billion, an increase of VND1,708 billion over 2018. Merchandise export value reached US$890 million, up 5.95% year on year. All 13 socioeconomic targets assigned by the Provincial People's Council were reached or exceeded (eight reached and five exceeded).
Contributing to its GRDP growth of 7.02%, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector rose by 2.65% and contributed 0.82 percentage points to the overall growth. In agriculture, rice and fishery were two key commodities that resulted in positive changes. In 2019, the province's total rice output approximated nearly 3.92 million tons, of which sticky rice and premium rice varieties accounted for 1.05 million tons, an increase of 73,700 tons from the previous year. Aquatic output totaled 532,600 tons, up 9.41% year on year. To meet more stringent requirements from export markets, the pangasius industry has gradually improved input quality, and at the same time strengthened connectivity between businesses and farmers to raise the output to 412,000 tons.
On tourism, tourists to An Giang increased by 8.24% over 2018. Key tourist areas such as Nui Sam, Nui Cam, Tra Su and Cu Lao Gieng continued to catch the fancy of investors. The tourism infrastructure system has been developed in both quantity and quality and more star-ranked accommodation facilities were set up.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum