In the past time, Long An province’s efforts for comprehensive and inclusive economic restructuring and growth model change have produced practical efficiency and facilitated local socioeconomic development. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr. Tran Van Can, Chairman of Long An Provincial People’s Committee, about this. Ngo San reports.
Could you briefly introduce recent outstanding socioeconomic development results of Long An province?
Long An province’s socioeconomic development was quite positive in 2019, with good performances achieved in all aspects. The average annual economic growth in the 2016-2019 period was estimated at 9.9%. The people’s livelihoods improved, with GRDP per capita reaching VND72.7 million in 2019.
Specifically, the annual growth rate of agriculture, forestry and fishery was 1.95%. Hi-tech agricultural application and agricultural restructuring programs were seriously implemented. The National Target Program on New Countryside Construction in 2016-2020 achieved many positive results that helped improve people’s livelihoods and incomes. To date, the province has 88 out of 166 communes certified to meet new rural standard, accounting for 53%.
Industry and construction expanded by an average of 15.8% and played a motivational role for development. The scale of industry is quite large, in which the processing and manufacturing industry continued to play a key role in leading the overall growth of the whole region and the economy. Trade and services maintained stable growth, averaging 7.37% a year. The export growth was quite high, standing at 14.5% a year, totaling US$26 billion in 2016-2020. The province’s export market was constantly expanded, with exports shipped to demanding markets.
On investment, by the end of 2019, the province attracted 1,026 FDI projects with a total registered capital of US$6.211 billion and licensed 1,923 domestic investment projects with a registered capital of VND221,931 billion (nearly US$10 billion). Long An had 11,478 active enterprises with a total registered capital of VND304,369 billion.
Economic development helped increase the local budget revenue which reached VND9,488 billion 2015 and VND18,242 billion in 2019, representing a year on year growth of 17.7% in 2016-2019. This enabled the province to have resources for development investment.
Economic restructuring and growth model transformation is a special concern of Long An. In the past time, the province’s economic structure also made significant changes. Could you please tell us some specific results?
The economic restructuring and growth model change policy, aimed for sustainable development, has been seriously carried out by the province in recent years. Accordingly, the province’s goal is to develop the economy quickly and sustainably where industry plays a driving force, hi-tech agriculture and new rural construction serves as the foundation and service trade with seaports and logistics plays a strategic breakthrough to 2030.
Industry and construction are chosen as a breakthrough priority for development and this will drive other fields to develop. The province planned a land fund of 13,000 ha for industrial development (16 operational industrial parks with an area of 2,274.46 ha with an occupancy rate of 85.77% and 21 industrial complexes with an area of 1,095 ha with an occupancy rate of 86.55%). Currently, the province's industrial production is relatively large in scale, reaching VND340 trillion in 2019.
Although industry and construction are prioritized to create development breakthroughs, the province also attaches importance to developing agriculture and service to achieve a balanced development. Agriculturally, the province will apply high-tech to production, large-scale commodity production and value chain to meet domestic and export market needs. Initially, the province established specialized cultivation areas such as high-quality rice in Dong Thap Muoi region, dragon fruit in Chau Thanh district, and vegetables in Can Giuoc. Besides, the province focused on organizing value-based production connectivity, building brands and expanding markets.
With the firm determination of the Provincial People’s Committee, provincial and local agencies, the province's economic structure has made clear changes with desirable outcomes.
Investment plays a particularly important role for Long An to realize its goal of becoming an industrial province. So, what solutions will the province apply to increase its investment effects?
Long An defined investment as a decisive factor for local socioeconomic development. Therefore, the province will continue to implement following measures to attract investors:
First, accelerating administrative procedure reforms in order to create an open, favorable and fair investment environment for economic sectors. This is illustrated with a higher annual Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI). The province is always ranked into a group of well-governed localities.
Second, periodically organizing dialogues with businesses and investors to capture their problems and promptly solve them.
Third, focusing investment on infrastructure to meet their business requirements, especially transport, power and water infrastructure.
Fourth, to ensure sustainable development, the province issued and implemented standards and procedures for reception of investment projects and will continue to implement them in the future.
Fifth, developing human resources, especially high-quality human resources and technical workers to meet development requirements.
To utilize and promote local advantages and implement socioeconomic development orientations in the coming time, Long An will draw investors into supporting industries (like mechanics, machine manufacturing, electronics and parts), agricultural processing, hi-tech agriculture, urbanization development and port logistics. These areas will help the province to attract investment.
The province aims for GRDP economic growth of 9.5-9.6%, GRDP per capita of VND80-85 million, total budget revenue of over VND16,800 billion, and food production of 2.7 million metric tons.
In 2020, the central task of socioeconomic development plan is “Further focusing on local economic restructuring, improving the investment and business environment, and raising growth quality; mobilizing all resources to effectively implement two breakthrough programs and three key projects defined in the Resolution of the 10th Provincial Party Congress; strengthening socialization of cultural and social fields, ensuring social security, improving the material and spiritual life of the people; accelerating administrative reform, promoting scientific and technological development; streamlining the organizational structure, enhancing the performance and functionality of the political system; consolidating national defense and security; maintaining political stability, safety and social order.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum