The Department of Industry and Trade of Phu Tho province has always worked closely together with the local business community to boost and accelerate investment and business projects, said Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung, Director of the Phu Tho Department of Industry and Trade, in an interview granted to Vietnam Business Forum.
Could you please tell us some outstanding results of industrial, service and commercial development in 2016-2020 in Phu Tho province?
In the 2016-2020 period, the Phu Tho industry and trade sector made efforts to overcome numerous difficulties and challenges to boost production and business activities and achieved positive results. The industry-construction sector expanded by 10.2 % a year and the service sector grew by 7.25%. Industrial production attracted many large-scale investment projects which made an increasingly wide range of products of different types, designs and improved quality. The industrial promotion was implemented effectively. Commercial infrastructure was invested in a professional manner, trade promotion and development programs were accelerated. Domestic trade was constantly developed, with the distribution network being expanded and many modern models launched to better serve consumers. Commercial activity was diversified in sectors and fields, engaged by many economic sectors, to meet increasing market demands. Export value boomed 30.2% a year on average.
However, Phu Tho province still faced certain limitations in industrial development. For example, the technical infrastructure of industrial parks was not synchronous; electrical infrastructure failed to meet development requirements due to slow progress of some transmission and transformer projects; industrial production was not actually sustainably developed, mainly focused on processing and assembling where scientific and technological content and added value was low. Tourism service development did not come up with local advantages and potential. Import and export value increased but failed to meet expectations.
How have you advised the provincial government and carried out solutions to realize the dual goal of effectively preventing the COVID-19 pandemic and developing business?
In response to the directions of the Government, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Committee of Phu Tho province, we have actively advised and executed measures to deal with adverse impacts of the epidemic on production-business, supply-demand, and commodity prices.
As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in early 2020, we consulted the local government to work out an action plan in response to impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus, as well as the plan to ensure supply of goods for local people. We have proposed a plan to stockpile reserve goods for people during the pandemic time in order to actively monitor supply, demand and price changes and guarantee the timely supply of essential goods due to COVID-19 contagion.
We’ve also advised and carried out solutions, encouraged enterprises to boost business operations to make enough goods of high quality and stable prices for consumers. We’ve also promptly prevented acts of smuggling, trade fraud, commodity hoarding, speculation and counterfeits. We’ve supported the timely supply of essential foods for quarantined people.
Furthermore, we’ve advised the Provincial People's Committee on plans in response to likely disease outbreaks with worse scenarios; on business support policies to assist local enterprises to live through hardships caused by the pandemic; coordinated with local authorities and enterprises to launch solutions to gradually overcome difficulties and ensure health safety, business efficiency and business development.
Could you please tell us the local potential and approaches to attract investment funds for industry, trade and service in 2021-2025?
In recent years, the province has increasingly developed and completed the local economic and technical infrastructure system. The construction and completion of transport projects have facilitated the locality to attract investors to boost industrial development in the coming time.
To draw more investors, the province has mobilized many resources, prioritized infrastructure investment for industrial parks to provide available land funds for businesses. Expectedly, in 2021-2025, Phu Tho province will develop a plan to integrate provincial planning with industrial park development. Accordingly, the province will have 28 industrial clusters covering 1,500 ha and 11 industrial parks covering 3,985 ha.
Additionally, the province has also introduced many preferential and open mechanisms; and supported investors to quickly, conveniently and effectively implement their projects. All levels and branches of the sector have constantly accelerated administrative reform, publicized information on administrative procedures on websites to facilitate businesses to access and research when they study investment opportunities in the province. That will reveal potential and opportunities to investors, including industry, trade and service projects.
By selectively attracting and prioritizing capable investors in line with the list of priority projects and fields, Phu Tho province will diversify forms of investment; encouraging large domestic investors to enter into BT, BOT and BTO investment formats to develop synchronous infrastructure which will enable the province to unlock potential and facilitate socio-economic development as a result.
In the coming time, the province will further encourage many industrial manufacturing sectors to diversify product categories, focusing on high-tech and localization, and environmental friendliness. Specifically, priority will be given to industries and industrial products using local materials and serving traditional markets such as tea processing, paper processing, beverage, fertilizer, construction material, textile and garment, footwear, livestock processing and making products with competitive advantages and high added value.
The province will concentrate on developing industrial parks to meet rural industrial production needs. The province will encourage advanced equipment and technology; resolutely prevent the adoption and entry of outdated technologies and energy-consuming technologies. The province will coordinate with surrounding localities to avoid overlapping investment and unnecessary competition to destroy internal development forces of the Northern Midlands and Mountains.
Phu Tho always encourages diversified trade development where State-owned trade plays a key role and the private sector is the core and driving force of development. It ensures fair competition, protects consumer interests and stabilizes the market. The province synchronously develops trade structures, including agency, wholesaling, retailing and franchising to tap local comparative advantages, of which wholesaling is key. In addition, trade development must be associated with tourism and service development, making trade-services a spearhead economic sector that grows faster than GDP.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum