Vinh Long province witnessed development not only in investment value but also project size in recent years. Many projects have produced positive impact on local socioeconomic development. In an interview given to Vietnam Business Forum, Mr. Vo Quoc Thanh, Director of the Vinh Long Department of Planning and Investment, said Vinh Long province will further introduce its potential and advantages, and also focus on promoting "soft advantages" to create its own characteristics in the coming time. It will create favorable policies and mechanisms, an open and attractive business environment for enterprises and investors. Ngoc Tung reports.
Could you please briefly introduce Vinh Long's investment attraction results in the 2016 - 2020 period and its actions in the coming period?
From 2016 to 2020, the province attracted 102 projects with a total registered capital of VND20,071 billion (US$900 million) or VND196.8 billion per project, including 39 FDI projects with US$507.74 million of registered investment fund (accounting for 62% of FDI projects and 76.9% of FDI investment value to date). Vinh Long province had 1,683 new enterprises (VND9.68 billion per enterprise), 576 branches and representative offices, and 1,160 business locations. This helped increase the realized funding to about VND65,569 billion in the past five years, an average increase of 6% a year, 1.35 times more than in the previous period.
This result showed that all levels, sectors and localities across the province made efforts, closely adhered to the breakthrough stage on “Attracting investment, developing processing industry, promoting trade and services, and boosting consumption in the 2015 - 2020 period" stated in the Resolution of the 10th Provincial Party Committee Congress. At the same time, the department effectively carried out the motto “Building a government that goes with businesses, serves people, and runs dynamic, effective administration”.
Currently, Vinh Long is encouraging investment funding for projects that tap local potential strengths, for example agricultural and aquatic processing, animal and fish feed processing, infrastructure construction, tourist services, restaurant and hotel, entertainment and fitness and agricultural specialty development, export garment and plant seeding and livestock breeding.
What are the unique potential strengths that Vinh Long province has in creating a competitive advantage for investment attraction?
Vinh Long is surrounded by two big rivers: Tien River and Hau River, a gateway to southwestern provinces. The province, lying at the center of the Mekong Delta, is 135 km north of Ho Chi Minh City, 34 km south of Can Tho City and bordered by seven provinces.
In addition to its favorable geographical location, mild climate, fertile soil, and abundant water resources, Vinh Long also has key conditions to form a diversified agricultural economy, especially growing rice, fruits and aquaculture of high economic value. Every year, the province produces more than 1 million tons of rice, nearly 400,000 tons of sweet potatoes, about 500,000 tons of fruit, and nearly 200,000 tons of aquatics. This is a source of inputs for processing industries, helping local processors reduce investment costs, lower product costs, improve their competitiveness in the market and increase profits.
With a spectacular landscape of rivers and gardens, famous traditional handicraft villages (making tiles, ceramics, conical hats, embroidery and weaving, with many being exported, Vinh Long has potential for developing countryside ecotourism. In addition, dozens of universities, colleges and vocational schools are training tens of thousands of students for the province each year. This is an abundant supply of trained workers for local enterprises.
Moreover, over the past years, Vinh Long has made great efforts for economic restructuring, industrial production and service development. To do so, the province has paid great attention to developing industrial infrastructure. Currently, the locality has two industrial parks (Hoa Phu and Binh Minh), and Co Chien Industrial Cluster. At the same time, it planned to add three new industrial zones (200-400 ha each), new residential areas and new urban areas (30-700 ha each) and many other key projects to create a new development step and bring many opportunities for investors in Vinh Long.
One “soft advantage” of Vinh Long province is the consistent implementation of many solutions to create a favorable and equal business and investment environment for all organizations, businesses and people. In the past five years, the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) of Vinh Long province secured a Top 10 position in the country (it rose to No. 3 position out of 63 provinces and cities in 2019), showing business satisfaction with the local business environment.
To achieve this success, the province always creates the best conditions and offers the most enthusiastic support for investors coming to Vinh Long. Investment promotion continues to be reformed in a more active approach. In particular, the above efforts also helped improve the position and image of the province; made the investment environment more attractive in the eyes of domestic and international organizations and investors.
Amidst the current context of international integration and global investment shifts, what new features in investment promotion and attraction will Vinh Long focus on in the coming time?
In order to attract investment funds, the province is determined to mobilize and integrate the efficient use of public investment funds and other capital sources to carry out target programs and key projects of great significance and strong effect on socioeconomic development. The province has well prepared infrastructure and land funds to attract large-scale influential industrial projects and projects that utilize agriculture for industrial development and use agricultural biotechnology.
The province will encourage enterprises to invest in agriculture and rural areas and high-tech agricultural projects to tap local strengths; direct the completion of infrastructure and accompanying services in all industrial zones; give priority to expanding and building new industrial zones for large high-tech investors that utilize local raw materials.
It will review and update investment projects based on the planning scheme and socioeconomic development program; give priority to calling for investment in projects engaged in industrial processing and manufacturing, agricultural and aquatic processing, modern trade and service development, agritourism infrastructure development based on the list of investment projects in the 2021-2025 period. It will periodically review and supplement the list of projects calling for private investment funds to match local development orientation.
It will continuously update and reform the construction of investment promotion documents to polish the image of the province's investment environment to draw more investors; regularly coordinate with relevant bodies to organize and attend conferences and seminars organized by the central and local agencies. It will focus on persuading existing investors to recommend new potential ones and organizing overseas investment promotion conferences.
In addition, Vinh Long province will accompany, support and proactively remove difficulties for businesses with the motto of “building an equal and friendly relationship, seeing enterprises as the driving force for development”. Special attention will be paid to administrative reform, focusing on administrative procedure reform by enhancing transparency, reducing processing time and promoting information technology application.
The province will also diversify and improve the quality of business support services, especially market information, partner searching, worker training financing and legal advice; strengthen coordination of investment supervision agencies; enhance the responsibility and accountability of agency leaders as well as public employees in handling related procedures.
In addition, provincial leaders will continue to hold dialogues with businesses and strictly handle intentional harassment caused to enterprises.
Beside raising its PCI performance, Vinh Long will focus on building a dynamic and effective government to enhance satisfaction of investors and business community. Since then, it will continue to be a reliable address and an attractive destination for investors.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum