Slow economic recovery in 2013 posed significant difficulties and challenges to business operations of enterprises, and the investment attraction of many provinces and cities. Being clearly aware of those difficulties and challenges, Ninh Binh province has focused on supporting operational enterprises and attracting new ones. Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Nguyen Chi Tinh, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment, on this matter. Le Sang reports.
Could you briefly introduce major investment attraction results of Ninh Binh province in 2013?
In general, development investment in Ninh Binh has been restructured to suit development objectives on the basis of strictly and reasonably implementing flexible, prudent and effective monetary and fiscal policies and exercising thrift. The total social development investment reached nearly VND18.5 trillion (US$900 million) in the year, exceeding the yearly plan by 2.7 percent, but still short 11.5 percent from 2012. Investment capital for all objectives declined. State-owned organisations and businesses injected VND6,112.8 billion, up 12.9 percent year on year. Last year, the province also sped up the investment of seven ODA projects and granted investment certificates to 48 new projects capitalised at VND5.5 trillion (US$220 million), of which seven FDI projects accounted for US$62.69 million.
The State Budget allocated VND4,372.572 billion in the year, up 25.27 percent over 2012, of which US$3,752 billion was forecast to be disbursed. As of October 31, 2013, the disbursement value was VND3,241.169 billion, or 74.12 percent of the full-year capital plan. Currently, debts to basic construction projects are VND5,487.77 billion, of which the provincial budget’s debts account for 79.1 percent and the district and commune budget’s debts make up 20.9 percent.
Last year, many big projects were carried out, including He Duong cement plant, a trunk road in the right bank of Day River (section from K8+380 to K32+400), upgraded National Road 1A, upgraded National Road 10, Ninh Binh nitrogenous fertiliser plant, camera module factory, a connection road from Cau Gie – Ninh Binh Highway to National Road 1A, upgraded right dyke of Hoang Long River, upgraded dyke of Day River, obstetrics and paediatrics hospital, and upgrade Thuong Sung Lake.
Slowing economic recovery weighed on operations of enterprises. Could you please tell us how Ninh Binh province has supported local businesses?
Being aware of difficulties that businesses have encountered, the province has upgraded the investment promotion and business support centre which is administered by the Department of Planning and Investment in order to quickly and conveniently settle procedures. Accordingly, the Provincial People’s Committee issued the Decision 07/2013/QD-UBND on coordinating and cooperating regulations on administrative procedure settlement in the so-called one-stop source mechanism applicable to enterprises located outside industrial zones in the province. The province has also coordinated with the Ministry of Planning and Investment to open business administration training courses for local enterprises. In 2013, the department joined hands with VCCI Thanh Hoa, a branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), to organise a conference on business and investment cooperation with India, thus helping local enterprises to access the Indian market.
In addition, the province has also intensified the publicity of socioeconomic development planning, sectoral planning and regional planning in order to attract investment capital, cooperated with VCCI Thanh Hoa to build legal knowledge and management skill improvement scheme for Ninh Binh province-based enterprises from 2013 to 2015.
Would you mind telling us about the methods of investment promotion the province has found most made?
With its functions and missions, the Department of Planning and Investment of Ninh Binh province has identified various forms of investment promotion. However, to effectively catch investment capital flows, the province has taken overall practical solutions.
The first solution is enhancing cooperation with domestic and international organisations and individuals and performing in-depth studies to pick up best partners and locations for focused investments; taking part in direct dialogues and exchanges with investors and foreign investment promotion agencies to advertise the investment environment and policies of Ninh Binh province and grasping information about investment trends, situations and demands in foreign countries (like JETRO of Japan and KOTRA of South Korea); learning effective investment promotion experience and investment support models in other provinces, cities and nations; strengthening connectivity and coordination with Vietnamese investment promotion agencies in foreign nations to effectively support investors.
Besides, with its functions, the Department of Planning and Investment regularly reviews and advises the provincial government to make investment promotion policies and solutions in order to achieve the highest efficiency.
In the coming time, what business policies will Ninh Binh province take to improve investment and business environment?
In the coming time, the province will strengthen planning works, especially construction planning, land planning and sectoral development planning to implement development objectives and ensure effective and sustainable investment; earnestly carry out approved plans and only making adjustments to approved plans when there are enough plausible arguments; proactively and flexibly attract investment capital, supplementing investment incentives and encouragements; regularly organise trade and investment promotion activities, provide legal information for enterprises, support them to find business partners, and provide technological services.
The province will also raise the accountability of heads of state management agencies in performing political tasks; enhance the capacity and responsibility of State officials in charge of directing, examining and completing licensing procedures for enterprises in the fields of land use rights, investment certification and construction permission; shorten the required time for business registration, investment certification, and land-use rights certification; prevent harassment and bureaucracy in administrative procedures; and strictly treat law-violating State officials. At the same time, the province will step up administrative procedure reform, review and remove inappropriate procedures, enhance operational efficiency of “one-stop source” and “single-window” mechanisms; minimise examinations and probes when no signs of violation are found. Examining activities must direct to the aim of enhancing law observance of enterprises, not taking advantage of such activities for self-interested purposes.
The province will also intensify the dissemination of State laws and regulations; diversify information methods to facilitate investors and businesses to access information in an effective manner; actively carry out training programmes to enhance legal knowledge, management capacity and corporate governance for enterprises in the 2013-2015 period; plan human resource development in the province towards 2020; and enhance the operational efficiency of vocational training and job introduction centres.
Last but not least, the province will increase the information of provincial competitiveness index (PCI), assess solutions for PCI improvement; and commend organisations and individuals with good PCI achievements.