Seeing opportunities from Vietnam’s increasing integration with a series of new free trade agreements and the movement of global investment flows, Quang Binh province has been upgrading infrastructure and human resources, and changing investment promotion approaches to catch the new development wave. Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter interviews Mr. Phan Phong Phu, Director of the Quang Binh Department of Planning and Investment, on this content.
Could you please tell us about the investment promotion and attraction results of Quang Binh province in recent years?
Quang Binh province has a low starting point, with a small economic scale, low growth quality and competitiveness. It lies too far away from dynamic economic centers of the country. Plus, with harsh weather and climate, investment attraction here is more difficult than other localities. However, in recent years, with continuous efforts, Quang Binh has made impressive progress in investment attraction thanks to advantages of “hard"” infrastructure, outstanding potential and advantages and huge room for development. The province is also attractive to businesses for its "soft" infrastructure, including mechanisms and policies on land rent, water surface and corporate income tax, especially for its commitments to provide favorable conditions for them to do successful business in the province. Those mechanisms and policies shift focus on the quality and selection of investors, especially in important areas such as tourism - services, high technology and renewable energy. Many experienced investors with strong financial potential and famous brands are present in the province.
Together with external promotion activities, the province also focuses on local investment promotion by reducing by 20-30% the time needed to handle investment and business procedures. The operation of the Provincial Public Administration Center is a step forward in building a professional, modern and effective administration. Quarterly, the province holds a thematic business meeting where provincial leaders exchange and talk with enterprises to timely identify and remove problems for enterprises. The Provincial People’s Committee has also established a steering committee to deal with emerging difficulties faced by local businesses and assist them to quickly implement their projects.
With these efforts, Quang Binh has achieved remarkable results and attracted hundreds of giant investment projects in recent years.
So far, most projects are carried out as scheduled. Once completed, they will create motivation for local socioeconomic development. However, some projects are carried out slowly because of sluggish investment as well as objective causes such as Formosa environmental incident and COVID-19 pandemic. Facing this reality, the Quang Binh Provincial People’s Committee has regularly held meetings with businesses, worked with investors, and actively directed relevant agencies to check and supervise situations to timely remove obstacles for investors, and speed up projects or revoke projects that are behind schedule.
As free trade agreements between Vietnam and the EU and ASEAN are increasingly “mature” and the shift of global FDI inflows will soon roll in, how has Quang Binh province prepared for this context of intensive integration?
Quang Binh has kept strongly improving the business investment environment, improving the effect of investment promotion, and creating an open and attractive business investment environment. The province has also reduced authoritative inspections into enterprises; created breakthroughs in information technology application; completed SME support policies; focused on speeding up administrative reforms and online business registration; and provided effective legal support for businesses. Besides, the province has enhanced transparency of access to land resources and production premises, promptly rectified and strictly handled wrongdoers.
Quang Binh province has introduced consistent solutions to call for infrastructure investment for economic development requirements; sped up planning and land handover to investors; and facilitated tentative investors coming to survey and seek investment opportunities. The province has periodically reviewed and supplemented the list of investment projects seeking investors; adjusted investment incentive policies, and facilitated them to do business.
The province has also enhanced the management capacity of investment registration agencies, and brought all related procedures to one place to reduce time and costs for investors. It introduced regulations on coordination of agencies in providing administrative procedures; supported and facilitated new projects to go into stable operation; and fulfilled commitments to investors. The province has mobilized and effectively used resources for construction investment and socioeconomic infrastructure development.
The province has also carried out consistent solutions to human resource development, especially vocational training. It has attached importance to training high-quality human resources and developing a labor market to meet labor recruitment needs of local enterprises in order to catch up with international economic integration in the framework of the ASEAN Community, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). It has also equipped enterprises with the best instruments to capture the opportunity to enter regional and international markets.
Quang Binh will continue to expand and improve the effect of external activities and actively integrate into the international economy. The province will expand exchanges and comprehensive cooperation on economy, culture, tourism and promote friendly and cooperative relations with countries in the region. At the same time, it will expand cooperation and attract investment from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, India, the United States and other countries. It will boost investment promotion, attract FDI projects into tourism and services, organic agriculture and agricultural processing, wind power and supporting industries. It will especially draw ecotourism and resort projects to Dong Hoi City and Phong Nha - Ke Bang area.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum