Momentum to Realize Growth Aspirations

1:53:17 PM | 8/5/2020

Quang Tri province has become increasingly attractive to investors and become a destination for many large-scale energy, infrastructure and tourism projects. And, the province has created momentum to realize its growth aspirations. The locality has determined the right approach, effectively carried out solutions, especially the aggressive action of the local government to speed up administrative reform, improve business environment and enhance competitiveness. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr. Ha Sy Dong, Permanent Vice Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee, on this issue. Ngo Khuyen reports.

In recent years, Quang Tri has obtained important achievements in economic growth and investment attraction, taking shape as a center of energy, wood processing industry, services and tourism in northern central Vietnam. Based on this foundation, how will you continue to make breakthroughs in the coming years?

As known, Quang Tri province is a bridge linking the North and the South of Vietnam, located on national arterial routes, including roads, railways and waterways. It is the first province in Vietnam on the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC), connecting with Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. Quang Tri has one of the largest forest areas in the country with 253,856 hectares (planted forest of 110,539 hectares) of which 22,000 hectares is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for sustainable forestry, which is very favorable for developing wood processing industry for export. With a 75-km coastline, the province has abundant good-quality sand reserves for industrial production and a rich source of seafood, which can generate 60,000 tons a year.

Quang Tri is also considered a center of renewable energy in the northern central region because it has a long sunny period each year and high wind speed. Moreover, gas reserves offshore the East Sea are also abundant for investors to develop gas power plants (the Prime Minister has agreed to allow the Gazprom Group to establish a feasible study for investment). The province also has many beautiful landscapes and historical sites to develop various types of tourism.

In the future, when My Thuy deep-sea port in the Dong Nam Economic Zone, National Road 15D from My Thuy seaport to La Lay International Border Gate are completed to create a parallel corridor to the East-West Economic Corridor, the province can draw large volumes of goods from the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries through this port to transport to other countries in the region and around the world. With these advantages, Quang Tri has many favorable conditions to develop agriculture, industry, transportation, trade, tourism, services and establish investment cooperation with other provinces and cities nationwide and with foreign investors as well.

In the past years, the province has received much support from the central government to invest in developing transport, electricity, healthcare, and education infrastructure to gradually meet public and business needs. In 2015, the Prime Minister established 23,792-ha Dong Nam Economic Zone of Quang Tri (Decision 42/QD-TTg dated September 16, 2015), enabling the province to attract investors and promote economic development. We have also mobilized considerable resources to develop industrial parks, and tourist clusters. The province’s GRDP has grown strongly in recent years, reaching 7.5% a year in 2016-2018 and 7.72% in 2019. This is a solid foundation for us to accelerate our breakthrough in the near future.

To date, we have shaped clear development approaches for energy, wood processing, tourism and service sectors. In order to become an energy center in the central region, the province is actively working with ministries and central agencies to revise transmission line construction plans in order to speed up the progress of power generation plants, especially wind and solar power. The province has also promoted service and tourism development, especially at revolutionary historical relics, and planned to organize the Peace Aspiration Festival in the future.

In order to enliven the above directions, we will prioritize resources to develop transport infrastructure and build traffic routes along the East-West Corridor, speed up the construction of My Thuy deep-water seaport, and carry out Quang Tri Airport project, National Road 15D from My Thuy seaport and La Lay International Border Gate to unlock local land potential and attract investment funds for social and economic development, ensure social security and livelihoods for people.

With the 2020 theme “take aggressive action to obtain inclusive achievements - create momentum for breakthrough development”, the province is carrying out consistent tasks and solutions, with a focus on improving the investment and business environment, raising the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), and supporting businesses to remove their difficulties. Could you please tell us more about this?

In past years, Quang Tri has paid special attention to accelerating administrative reform and improving the investment and business environment in order to create favorable conditions for businesses and investors. The Provincial People’s Committee has issued and carried out many programs and plans such as Action Program 1383 dated July 7, 2014 on improving the local business enviroment and Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) for 2014-2020 period; Action Plan 1008/KH-UBND dated March 21, 2017; Action Plan 2937/KH-UBND dated July 11, 2018; and Action Plan 391/KH-UBND dated January 25, 2019.

The Provincial People’s Committee has instructed branches and localities to inform and enforce laws, reduce administrative procedures; cut by 20-30% of the service time; reduce 15-20% of administrative procedure cost and coordinate with tax, labor and social insurance agencies to streamline procedures and reduce the service time for businesses. The Quang Tri Public Administration Service Center has been put into operation to provide a stepping stone for the cause of building e-government, providing online public services of Level 3 and Level 4. Up to now, 100% of departments, agencies, and localities have applied the single-window electronic mechanism. All administrative procedures related to investment and business, all regulations, policies and plans have been publicized on the website of the Provincial People’s Committee and at working offices of relevant departments, branches, districts and cities. The Provincial People’s Committee has also held periodic dialogues with business and the press at least twice a year to timely capture and remove difficulties and obstacles for businesses.

The province has also established and published contact hotlines and online channels to receive and answer questions of enterprises on the province’s web portal. We have always paid special attention to business support; organized the monthly “BizCoffee Program” to discuss and solve difficulties and encourage businesses to boost their operations; and continued to urge the fulfillment of commitments to creating a favorable business environment.

We have drastically implemented consistent measures to speed up administrative reform, improve the investment environment and enhance local competitiveness. Up to now, Quang Tri reportedly has a favorable investment and business climate. The province's PCI increased in both scores and rankings in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2019, the locality attracted 66 projects with a total registered capital of VND39 trillion and witnessed 30 projects with VND113 trillion of investment capital kicked off in the year. These outcomes vividly demonstrate the province’s efforts.

According to the M. Score survey, a scorecard tool that allows citizens to score the performance of public administration, 99% of the people are satisfied or very satisfied when they come to conduct work with the Quang Tri Public Administration Service Center. Despite only six months of operation, the center has provided a series of utility services for people like collecting fees and charges via banks; providing forms, answering questions and looking up records information via contact hotlines and Zalo social network. Currently, 1,622 provincial administrative procedures have been reviewed, digitized and updated to ensure the smooth operation of the electronic software system. If the documents need to be processed immediately, the post office at the service will instantaneously send them to specialized units and deliver the results to applicants within the same day.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum