No matter how it is affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, authorities at all levels always place top priority on boosting investment promotion, improving the investment and business environment, and supporting business development. Mr. Nguyen Van Luong, Director of Ha Nam Department of Planning and Investment, here presents more details on these aspects. Hoai Nam reports.
What are the strengths that make Ha Nam a magnet of domestic and foreign investment flows?
In addition to its inherent favorable conditions like openness, friendliness and hospitality of local people, geographical location, land price and manpower availability, Ha Nam province also actively prepares other conditions such as establishing investment and tourism promotion agencies (Investment promotion is carried out by the Investment Promotion Center under the Department of Planning and Investment and the Industrial Zones Authority; tourism promotion is carried out by the Tourism Promotion Center under the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism); establishing foreign business support centers (e.g. Korea Desk and Japan Desk) to receive information and immediately resolve petitions and difficulties of enterprises. They are also responsible for preparing good conditions for investment and tourism promotion.
Besides, Ha Nam province focuses on improving infrastructure. In particular, the province completed infrastructure construction plans, with emphasis placed on developing essential technical infrastructure (transport, electricity, water, telecommunications and logistics), and built synchronous infrastructure in industrial zones for investors. At the same time, infrastructure development is placed in the overall picture of social infrastructure system, with attention paid to the interaction of sectors and fields for joint development: Human resources development planning ensures adequate supply of qualified workers for local enterprises (building Nam Cao University to attract students from neighboring provinces to study; developing training capacity for local colleges and vocational training facilities); partnering with domestic and foreign universities to train high-quality human resources for local enterprises; investing in construction of worker houses.
The province develops essential services for people and investors: Improving the quality of medical services (Planning regional high-quality medical zones; improving the quality of medical examination and treatment at existing medical facilities, building branches of major national hospitals like Bach Mai Hospital and Viet Duc Hospital); making the Ha Nam tourism development master plan to 2030 and further to 2050 and attracting investors of high-class entertainment services for foreign investors and tourists: building golf courses, restaurants, hotels and trade centers with big brands such as BRG Group, Muong Thanh, Vingroup and Central Group.
At the same time, the province issues resolutions and carries out plans on administrative reform, with a focus on administrative procedures. The Provincial Party Committee issued Resolution 08-NQ/TU dated September 23, 2016; the Provincial People's Committee promulgated Action Plan 2323/KH-UBND dated October 3, 2016; and relevant agencies at all levels launched specific action plans for implementation. The province advocates building a serviceable, public, transparent administration, which will be gradually modernized; simplifying administrative procedures, implementing interconnected single-window mechanisms (building provincial and district public administrative centers); reducing the service time by at least 50% compared to the Government's regulations to provide most favorable conditions for businesses.
Moreover, the province has its own mechanisms, policies and regulations on investor support: Supporting vocational training and providing skilled human resources for investors, which will get support of VND1 million for each employee and get free support for worker recruitment.
Furthermore, the province announced 10 commitments to investors when they invest in Ha Nam (including commitments to ensure electricity, infrastructure, administrative procedures and security.) Last but not least, the Ha Nam provincial government pledged to accompany investors and promptly remove difficulties in the process of project implementation.
So, could you please tell us the focus, effect and outcome of investment promotion activities and impressive results in the past time?
On January 12, 2016, the Ha Nam Provincial People’s Committee promulgated Decision 48/QD-UBND approving the project on renewed development investment approach in 2016 - 2020, with a vision to 2030, which clearly prioritizes the development of supporting industries, high-tech industries, products with high added value, competitive advantages and environmentally friendly products. Focus was placed on attracting small and medium enterprises from industrially developed countries such as Japan, South Korea and Europe.
Therefore, over the past years, Ha Nam province has concentrated resources to prepare good conditions for investment promotion (like improving infrastructure; reforming and modernizing the administrative system; issuing institutions, preferential policies and support for businesses). Besides, the province planned Dong Van III Industrial Park exclusively for Japanese enterprises; aligned investment attraction at domestic and international conferences and seminars; and actively coordinated with infrastructure investors to organize investment promotion missions to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan (China) and other countries.
By conducting market research, catching FDI flow movements among countries and carrying out focused investment promotion, the province’s investment environment has been widely introduced to domestic and foreign business communities. After investment promotion events, many investors visited, surveyed and chose Ha Nam as their investment destination. Therefore, over the past years, Ha Nam has always been a top recipient of FDI funds in the country.
By selecting target markets for investment promotion and applying detailed appraisal processes for each project (quality, efficiency, technology and environmental protection are major evaluation criteria), so after being handed investment registration certificates, all investors launched their investment projects very quickly and complied with the law when their projects were put into operation. Their projects have greatly contributed to local socioeconomic development.
Given Vietnam’s advantages in the international arena in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift of FDI flows, how has Ha Nam province built a scenario to attract FDI inflows?
Over the past years, Ha Nam's very active investment promotion has helped introduce the province’s image and investment environment to domestic and foreign business communities. Thus, the province achieved very good results in FDI attraction and stood among top recipients of FDI capital in the country.
Currently, Ha Nam province has 998 valid investment projects (315 FDI projects and 683 domestic projects) with a total registered capital of US$4,079.9 million and VND133,467.5 billion. South Korea invested US$1.6 billion in 142 projects (accounting for 45% of FDI projects and 39% of the value). Japan invested US$970 million in 99 projects (accounting for 32% of projects and 24% of the value).
Grasping Vietnam’s good reputation for preventing and controlling the COVID-19 epidemic, recognized and studied by many countries around the world, to draw more investment capital, all levels and sectors of Ha Nam province have actively adapted to new conditions to promptly capture the new wave of FDI flows into Vietnam. The Ha Nam Provincial Party Committee issued Action Plan 142-KH/TU dated November 11, 2019, to carry out the Politburo's Resolution 50-NQ/TW dated August 20, 2019, on completion of institutions and policies and improvement of foreign investment cooperation to 2030. All levels and sectors of authority in the province have devised action plans and programs to implement these issues, based on their powers and tasks.
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, Ha Nam province managed to attract 44 investment projects (21 FDI projects and 23 domestic projects) in the first six months of the year, 7% more projects than the same period of 2019. The registered investment value in both FDI and domestic sectors was more than the value attracted in 2019 (US$422.9 million, 3.4 times more than, and VND3,673.1 billion, 1.6 times more).
If the epidemic is controlled well, Ha Nam province will strive to attract 40 FDI projects and US$400 million in 2020 (30% higher than the target). The province will endeavor to attract US$2.5 - 3.5 billion of FDI fund in 2021 - 2025 (US$500 - 700 million a year) and have US$2 - 2.5 billion disbursed in the period (US$400 - 500 million a year). 50% of companies will use environmentally friendly advanced technologies by 2025.
10 commitments to investors
1- Adequate power supply around the clock
2- Essential infrastructure and services are provided to the fence of projects, including electricity, water, telecom, wastewater and waste collection and treatment facilities
3- Quick settlement of administrative procedures, with investment certificate granted within three days. Administrative procedures and tax procedures are handled online conveniently and accurately.
4- Good worker training and supply support for enterprises.
5- Free land is allocated for worker housing construction; demands for services, social infrastructure and entertainment are met.
6- Maximum support is delivered to enterprises seeking to expand production, change production and business plans, or adjust investment certificates.
7- Customs services at industrial zones are delivered online.
8- Outside security and order is guaranteed. Human and property security of enterprises is guaranteed.
9- No strikes
10- Hotlines for the Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee and Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee are available to receive information and immediately resolve petitions from businesses.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum