Consistent with the dual goals of fighting the epidemic and boosting socioeconomic development, the industry and trade sector of Bac Kan province has adopted many effective solutions to the COVID-19 epidemic, fostering production and business, and playing an important part in the province’s development. Mr. Hoang Ha Bac, Director of Bac Kan Department of Industry and Trade, gives an exclusive interview to Vietnam Business Forum. Duy Khang reports.
Could you please briefly introduce some outstanding industry and trade indicators by the end of September 2021?
In 2021, as the COVID-19 epidemic has been well controlled in Bac Kan province, business operations of local industrial and commercial enterprises have not been greatly affected. Industrial manufacturers are currently focusing on their planned production. Local commercial activity is stable. Commodities are circulated smoothly with a variety of designs and guaranteed quality to meet all the demand of local consumers to prevent commodity hoarding and price hikes.
Accordingly, the province’s industrial value was estimated at VND1,016.77 billion (US$50 million) in the first nine months of 2021, up 7.01% year on year and equal to 69.5% of the 2021 plan. The Industrial Production Index rose by 6.34% year on year in the first nine months of 2021. Some key industrial products had high output growth, featured by lead concentrate (estimated at 5,457 tons, up 26.76%), iron ore concentrate (49,600 tons, up 200%), plywood (44,600 cubic meters, up 177%), and paperboard (1,892 tons, up 10%). Up to now, 97.44% of households have access to the national grid.
Total retail revenue of consumer goods and services was estimated at VND3,996.41 billion (US$180 million) from January to September 2021, up 6.8% year on year and equal to 63.13% of the 2021 plan. The consumer price index climbed 2.24% year on year in the nine-month period. Notably, import and export staged remarkable growth. The import and export value surged 269% year on year to US$23.8 million in the first nine months of 2021. The export value was US$16.8 million, boosted by plywood shipments to the United States and Europe (US$13 million), lead ingots to China (US$1 million), agricultural products such as salted palanquins, processed fruits and ginger to China (US$1 million), and zinc sulphate powder and oxide powder to China (US$1.68 million).
In the context of the COVID-19 epidemic, what solutions has the Bac Kan industry and trade sector taken to support and promote local commercial and service activities?
First of all, the Department of Industry and Trade worked with relevant agencies to advise the Provincial People's Committee to develop and implement plans to well perform State management of trade and services across the province; accelerate the implementation of domestic market development projects in line with the campaign "Vietnamese people give priority to using Vietnamese goods" in the new context; and protect consumers' interests in the province.
The department has well managed goods, stabilized the market, produced and circulated goods amid the COVID-19 epidemic outbreak. The agency has actively monitored and grasped market fluctuations to promptly advise and propose solutions on market management and stabilization to prevent commodity shortages and price hikes; regularly visited and contacted distributors to learn about their stockpiles and inventories to advise on building stockpiling plans and supplying essential items for daily life of the people.
The department advised the Provincial People's Committee to launch and carry out plans to store and supply goods to cope with the COVID-19 epidemic development in the province; and promulgated directions on stronger prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic in production and business facilities, trade centers and supermarkets. It coordinated with other bodies and local authorities to implement measures to ensure timely distribution, supply and consumption of goods; guide arrangement of temporary supply locations and market reopening to ensure effective COVID-19 epidemic prevention. It worked with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to review the plan for production and consumption of agricultural products amid COVID-19 epidemic outbreak.
Trade promotion amid COVID-19 epidemic is really difficult, not only for Bac Kan province but also for the whole country. Local companies hardly attended exhibitions and fairs outside the province. Some plans were impossible to implement. Therefore, to boost sales of agricultural products and goods, the department has regularly visited, connected, and supported relevant units to provide information about local agricultural products such as fragrant zucchini, vermicelli, noodle, seedless persimmon and tangerines for the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade), Departments of Industry and Trade and Trade Promotion Centers of other provinces and cities to sell local products. It has also guided and supported enterprises and cooperatives to transport and distribute goods, shift to e-commerce platforms to sell agricultural products; invited businesses to join online seminars on trade promotion organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency (iDEA) and other agencies.
The Department of Industry and Trade continued to diversify commercial infrastructure, harmoniously combined traditional trade with modern trade suitable to the nature and development level of each local market; completed the traditional market system by upgrading markets in rural and mountainous areas; and encouraged market development to ensure food safety.
It coordinated with related bodies to intensify market inspection and control, fight against smuggling, commercial fraud, counterfeits, knockdowns and goods of unknown origin to protect the interests of consumers and suppliers.
Based on what it has achieved, what are top goals that the industry and trade sector will focus on for development in the coming time?
Based on achievements in the past time, the Resolution of the 12th Bac Kan Party Congress (2020-2025 term) sets the following goals: Average annual industrial growth of 12.8 - 13%, service growth of 7%, retail growth of 11.5%, and export and import growth of 10%. The industry and trade sector of Bac Kan province planned to carry out the following solutions and actions.
Stepping up modern industrial production development, with priority focused on expanding potential advantages such as mining, agricultural processing, forestry, food, building material and some labor-intensive industries.
Investing in social and economic infrastructure construction, especially industrial zone infrastructure; and allocating investment development resources for the grid system to fully meet electricity demand for local socioeconomic development.
Advising the Provincial People's Committee to review and supplement the energy industry plan to match the actual reality to maximize local potential advantages; mobilizing capital sources for investment and development of trade and service infrastructure systems coupled with urban, rural and tourism development; focusing on expanding production and creation of key products for export; and fostering trade promotion, branding and market expansion.
Thank you very much!
Source: Vietnam Business Forum