Once among the poorest provinces in the Mekong Delta, after 30 years of re-establishment, Soc Trang has strongly risen to become a well-grown province in the region. As noted by Mr. Lam Hoang Nghiep, Vice Chairman of Soc Trang Provincial People's Committee, to have this success, besides the effort of the entire political system, Soc Trang has always received the close direction and valuable support of the central Party and government to unlock its potential for development as it should be.
Could you please introduce outstanding socioeconomic achievements as well as lessons learned from Soc Trang province since it was re-established 30 years ago?
Over the past 30 years, the Party, government and people of Soc Trang province have promoted their initiative and creativity and overcome difficulties to reap important and inclusive socioeconomic achievements as below:
- The gross regional domestic product (GRDP) in 2021 reached VND57,120 billion, an increase of 38 times over 1992 and the GRDP per capita rose 35.33 times from VND1.34 million in 1992 to VND47.33 million in 2021. The average annual GRDP growth was 13.08% in 1993 - 2021. The total state budget revenue in 2021 amounted at VND4,238 billion, an increase of 116.64 times over 1992 and an average annual growth of 17.83% from 1993 to 2021.
- The economic structure has been transformed to unlock its local potential advantages and catch up with the nation’s industrialization and modernization. The economic share of Region I decreased from 68.30% in 1992 to 44.78% in 2021 (versus 30.86% in the Mekong Delta and 12.36% in the nation), a drop of 23.52%. The share of Region II increased from 9.68% in 1992 to 15.11% in 2021 (compared with 26.39% in the Mekong Delta and 37.86% in the country), an increase of 5.43%. The share of Region III climbed from 22.02% in 1992 to 40.11% in 2021 (versus 37.23% in the Mekong Delta and 49.78% in the country), an increase of 18.09%.
- Labor productivity has significantly improved thanks to the transformation and redistribution of labor between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors as a result of urbanization and industrialization. Specifically, the province's labor productivity grew 10.52% a year on average from VND5.10 million in 1992 to VND92.68 million in 2021.
- From 1992 to 2021, the province mobilized VND144,030 billion for socioeconomic development investment. Especially, from 2007 to 2021, the province introduced investment opportunities to more than 1,000 businesses and investors; approved 310 investment projects with a total registered capital of over VND100,696.9 billion, including giant projects with huge effects on socioeconomic development such as wind farms, Cai Con Port, high-tech organic shrimp project for export, and Vincom Soc Trang.
- The merchandise export value totaled US$1,289 million in 2021, an increase of 51.56 times over 1992, representing an average annual growth of 14.56% from 1993 to 2021. The key export is frozen shrimp, accounting for over 75% of the province's export value. In 2021, the province welcomed 760,440 tourists, an increase of 61.55 times over 1992 and marking an average annual growth of 15.27% from 1993 to 2021. Of the sum, international tourist arrivals reached 1,000, an increase of 1.22 times over 1992, and domestic tourist arrivals climbed to 614,719, an increase of 53.31 times over 1992. Tourism revenue was VND334.163 billion, an increase of 59.46 times compared to 1992 and staging an average annual growth of 15.13% from 1993 to 2021. Tourism contributions to the province's GRDP climbed from 0.37% in 1992 to 0.59% in 2021.
- The province has also achieved comprehensive and steady sociocultural development, even breakthroughs in education, healthcare and poverty reduction. By the end of 2021, Soc Trang had 58 communes meeting new countryside development standards (accounting for 72.5% of total communes). Nga Nam Town accomplished the task of new rural development. My Xuyen district met new rural standards. Vinh Chau Town submitted documents for being recognized to complete the new countryside development. Nine communes satisfied advanced rural development standards. The province also built socioeconomic infrastructure and modernized urban infrastructure to create a new driving force for its general development.
The outstanding socioeconomic achievements in the past 30 years have turned Soc Trang into a well-developed province in the Mekong Delta from one of the poorest provinces in the region. This success comes from the solidarity and effort of the political system and the consensus of the business community, entrepreneurs and people. With an objective view, Soc Trang province has drawn many valuable lessons from this development process. The province must have a high political resolution in leadership, direction and regulation of socioeconomic development goals; act decisively, responsibly, actively and flexibly while focusing on important areas and key tasks to create motivations for development; and harmonize legitimate interests of all social classes with appropriate and feasible steps. The province must closely commingle socioeconomic development, national defense and security and environmental protection with political system construction and consolidation. Accordingly, the province pays attention to building up a capable, ethical, dynamic, innovative and determined workforce and upholds the sense of responsibility and exemplarity of civil servants and Party members.
2022 is considered a tough year for Soc Trang's economic growth, especially when the province set an economic growth target of 6.5% or more. What key and innovative solutions will the province take to achieve this goal?
In 2022, the province will launch many investment projects (e.g. wind power projects); organize the 30th re-establishment anniversary and host the 2022 Investment Promotion Conference to introduce many opportunities and potential to investors. On that basis, Soc Trang has confidently set an economic growth target of 6.5% or more.
In order to realize this goal, the province has focused on implementing many key and breakthrough solutions; flexibly, effectively and synchronously carried out the overall strategy to well respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and boost the socioeconomic recovery and development. The province will continue to promptly implement support policies for people and entities adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic; strengthen connections and introduce businesses to sign commercial contracts for agricultural and aquatic products; urgently complete procedures to operate e-commerce floors to boost consumer goods sales.
The province will also focus on improving the effectiveness of public investment capital; speeding up the implementation of key projects to celebrate the 30th re-establishment anniversary; mobilizing investment resources to develop Soc Trang City into a second-tier city and toward a first-tier city in the near future. Soc Trang province will effectively apply policies on people with meritorious services and contributions to the nation, social protection, employment and sustainable poverty reduction. It will tighten administrative discipline and uphold the responsibility of agency leaders; promptly detect and strictly handle violations. The province will have measures to raise the Vietnam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI), the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), the Satisfaction Index of Public Administrative Services (SIPAS) and the Public Administration Reform Index (PAR Index). Soc Trang will further ensure social security, order and safety.
Some key solutions for the province in 2022 include the organizing of the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of the province and the investment promotion conference in 2022, which is expected to open up many opportunities for investors; improve public investment capital efficiency, speed up key projects to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of the province.
In addition to short-term solutions, the Provincial People's Committee has aggressively prepared for long-term development. The Provincial People's Committee is urgently completing the Soc Trang Provincial Plan with a vision to 2050. It is also actively coordinating with the Ministry of Transport in advancing the Tran De Deep Sea Port Plan. Research and making regional planning of Cu Lao Dung district oriented toward the economic development of tourism. It is mobilizing investment resources to develop Soc Trang city into a second-class city toward a first-class city in the future.
The pandemic and natural disasters are anticipated to be complicated and unpredictable. In that context, what policies will Soc Trang province prioritize to support businesses to overcome difficulties, fulfill their economic development tasks and ensure local social security?
Continuing its achievements in the past time, in 2022, Soc Trang will continue to implement solutions and policies to support businesses to overcome difficulties and the pandemic and carry out economic development tasks. Specifically, the province will strictly and effectively apply support policies for enterprises and workers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as per Resolution No. 68/NQ-CP dated July 1, 2021, Resolution No. 116/NQ-CP dated September 24, 2021 and Resolution No. 11/NQ-CP dated January 30, 2022 of the Government; effectively launch support policies for small and medium enterprises as per Decree No. 80/2021/ND-CP dated August 26, 2021 of the Government; continue to implement resolutions of the Provincial People's Council such as Resolution No. 05/2020/NQ-HDND dated July 7, 2020 on support policies for tourism development in 2020 - 2025 and Resolution No. 05/2019/NQ-HDND dated July 10, 2019 on policies on land concentration for corporate agricultural investment. The province will direct local credit institutions to support customers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and provide soft loans to employees and employers hit by the Covid-19 pandemic according to Resolution 68/NQ-CP dated July 1, 2021 of the Government.
At the same time, the province will regularly hold dialogues with businesses through seminars and conferences; flexibly support enterprises to deal with their difficulties; further promote the role of the Business Help Desk which is responsible for dealing with difficulties faced by enterprises, timely solving proposals and providing the best conditions for them to do business in the province.
Thank you very much!
By Vietnam Business Forum