To catch up with intensive integration trends and global investment flow shifts, Bac Ninh province is stepping up innovations in investment promotion, with focus placed on persuading existing investors to recommend new ones, to draw investment resources to realize its goal of soon becoming a centrally run city. To find out more information, the Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter has an interview with Mr. Nguyen Dinh Xuan, Director of the Bac Ninh Department of Planning and Investment. Ngo Khuyen reports.
How do you assess the investment promotion and attraction of Bac Ninh province in the past five years?
In the 2016-2020 period, Bac Ninh made a breakthrough in foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction when the province licensed up to US$8.2 billion, accounting for 41.5% of its total FDI fund, invested by many globally renowned giant groups. The province also licensed 338 domestic direct investment (DDI) projects with a total of VND45 trillion (nearly US$2 billion) of investment capital. The locality also had 10,065 new corporate entities which registered to invest VND82 trillion (US$3.6 billion) in the period.
During this period, the investment structure changed positively. The private and foreign sectors accounted for a very high share. Investment flows continued to spur economic growth, with the province's gross regional domestic product (GRDP) in 2020 being 1.5 times bigger than that in 2015, industrial output value standing among the top in the country; and budget revenue soaring. Bac Ninh also invested in building a synchronous and modern infrastructure system, commenced and completed many regional connection works to create a driving force for Bac Ninh to become a growth pillar in the Capital region.
The above positive results came from Bac Ninh's consistent solutions, including fostering investment promotion, especially asking existing investors to recommend new ones to the province by supporting them after they get investment licenses; remove difficulties and problems against them; reform administrative procedures, and create an open business investment environment.
However, there are still some shortcomings that need to be addressed: There are not many big projects to create motivational effects and unlock local strengths; domestic investment and public-private partnership investment is still limited; the quality of investment projects is not high; there are few investment projects for supporting industries engaged in production chains; and legal corridor for small and medium-sized enterprises has not been completed.
Bac Ninh province is striving to become a centrally governed city and it has a lot of advantages in investment attraction. So, what are the province’s unique points and new features in investment promotion and attraction of the province in the coming period?
In order to make differences and new features in investment promotion and attraction, Bac Ninh province always sets the target of turning competition and challenges into opportunities; actively attracts targeted investment funds and shifts from the “opening the door to welcome investors” approach to “knocking the right door to contact investors” approach. Our differences and new features can be seen through the following highlights:
Bac Ninh - a safe and attractive destination: Bac Ninh plays an important role in the Hanoi region, connected to National Highway 1A, National Highway 18, National Highway 38, the urban rail transit in the Hanoi - Bac Ninh - Vinh Phuc Triangle, Lao Cai - Hanoi - Ha Long Expressway. Over the past five years, the economic scale has been expanded. Bac Ninh is always among the top recipients of FDI funds.
Big brands and multinational corporations - Magnetic attractants to other investors: Accumulatively, the province granted investment licenses to 1,606 valid projects with a total investment of US$19.8 billion from 37 countries and territories, led by South Korea, followed by Singapore and Japan. The presence of many global brands such as Canon, Samsung, Suntory PepsiCo, Fushan and Hanwha is magnetic to other investors seeking to invest in the province.
Localized investment promotion is top priority: In recent years, FDI enterprises in the province have continuously expanded their investment scale. After many additions, Samsung’s investment capital rose to US$9.2 billion, accounting for 46.5% of the province’s total FDI fund. This is the province's success of localized investment promotion. Bac Ninh attaches much importance to supporting investors after they get the investment license, operates the Business Help Desk models to give timely assistance to enterprises in case of necessity; regularly organizes dialogue conferences, meet enterprises and investors, and promptly remove difficulties for businesses.
Towards a livable smart city: Bac Ninh is actively seizing opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, applying science and technology, developing human resources and promoting local cultural identity values, improving the quality of management and operation in line with digital transformation, e-governance and smart city. In the coming time, Bac Ninh will speed up urbanization in the northwest of the province, ecotourism sites and entertainment centers in Tien Du district and Tu Son town to keep investors in the province.
Guaranteed security and order always assures investors: Especially since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bac Ninh has effectively implemented epidemic prevention and control measures.
Currently, the global supply chain is dramatically shifting its direction and Vietnam is considered one of potential investment destinations. So, how can Bac Ninh proactively welcome and effectively seize this opportunity?
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, international investors are accelerating operational restructuring and redistributing production networks on a global scale. Vietnam is defined as a "bright candidate" when it is located in a dynamic development area, highly appreciated for the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic contagion to be a safe investment destination for investors and capital flows.
To catch new opportunities, Bac Ninh will make a breakthrough with a 4-“ready” message:
Ready for investment locations: Bac Ninh currently has 16 large-scale industrial parks approved by the Prime Minister, covering 6,397.68 ha, and 26 small-scale industrial complexes with a total area of 898.27 ha, with Tan Chi 2 and Cach Bi complexes for small and medium enterprises and supporting industries. Industrial zones are synchronously invested in traffic infrastructure, power grid, water supply and communication system.
Ready for human resources: 72% of the workforce of Bac Ninh province was trained in 2019. Local workers are capable of quickly accessing modern technologies and advanced management skills as well. The province also aims to develop university zones into a national and international training, scientific research and technological application center; and form and develop a modern and civilized university complex to facilitate the development of the knowledge economy. Bac Ninh province will have three university villages.
Ready to reform: The province drastically promotes administrative reform, improves the investment environment, strengthens administrative discipline toward an administration of “support and service”, and builds an enabling service-based government. As of September 2020, the province had reviewed 100% of administrative procedures within its jurisdiction; proposed competent authorities to reduce record components of more than 30 administrative procedures and reduce the time it takes to conduct more than 900 administrative procedures. To date, 458 procedures have been streamlined, with some settled within the day.
Ready to support: For investors, especially foreigners, Bac Ninh is ready to listen to their thoughts. Currently, the province is drastically carrying out support policies for businesses affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. This move has reinforced confidence in the business community.
On the occasion of the Bac Ninh Investment Promotion Conference in the 2021-2025 period, do you have any message to share with businesses and investors?
Bac Ninh Investment Promotion Conference, held at the end of 2020, is an important event of the province to strongly call for more investment resources for local social and economic recovery and development in 2021-2025. This event is combined with the desire to introduce the appealing investment environment and seize the opportunity to catch the investment flow in the new context. This is a chance for Bac Ninh province to inform domestic and foreign investors about Bac Ninh as a safe and attractive investment destination and the province is always open and ready to welcome investors.
In the 2021-2025 period Bac Ninh will continue to attract investment projects bringing the knowledge economy, high-tech production and sustainable development based on given criteria. The province will facilitate and strengthen connectivity between FDI firms and DDI companies in order to form electronics and high-tech clusters, increase localization ratio in products, transfer technology, and facilitate local industries to join global value chains to develop supporting industries to turn Bac Ninh into a creative and dynamic city in the future.
Bac Ninh will focus on drawing high-tech, modern and environmentally friendly industries such as electronics, telecommunications, mechatronics, pharmaceutical, medical equipment, supporting industry, high-tech agriculture and smart agriculture. The province will woo large domestic and foreign corporations to invest in infrastructure, urban development, trade center and eco-resorts projects, develop locally advantageous and high-valued trade and service sectors such as healthcare, education - training, international finance, logistics and other modern services.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum