While Bac Ninh Province's domestic production faced difficulties this year, its foreign-invested enterprises achieved impressive growth, with export sales topping US$23 billion and investment totalling nearly $1.6 billion. Vietnam News Agency reporter Nguyen Thai Hung spoke to Deputy Party Secretary and Chairman of Bac Ninh People's Committee Nguyen Nhan Chien about how the province can meet its goal of becoming a modern industrial area by 2015.
Reporter Nguyen Thai Hung: This year, Bac Ninh achieved outstanding results in attracting investment and industrial development. Please tell us something about those results.
Chairman Nguyen Nhan Chien: According to the government forecast, as well as our own, in 2013 the country faced many difficulties and challenges because of prolonged financial crisis and global economic downturn. But with the active leadership and governance of the provincial People's Committee, timely deployment and implementation of solutions for socio-economic development, with many mechanisms and policies to support enterprises, Bac Ninh Province's socio-economic situation made significant progress across all sectors, with most targets and plans being achieved.
For example, the gross domestic product of the province in 2013 has increased by 11.8 per cent compared to 2012. The average annual GDP per capita is VND68.2 million (US$3,24).
The economy continues to shift towards modernisation and industrialisation: industrial and construction areas account for 74.5 per cent; services, 19.5 per cent; agriculture, forestry and fisheries, 6 per cent.
The annual industrial production is valued at VND598.7 trillion, an increase of 60.7 per cent over last year.
The state budget revenue is estimated to be VND11.5 trillion, an increase of 22.1 per cent over 2012.
Trade and investment promotion activities were strengthened with the introduction of innovative preferential policies.
Although many businesses across the country closed down in 2013, Bac Ninh still has 6,366 enterprises operating (an increase of 2,000 enterprises compared to 2012) with a total registered capital of VND100 trillion. Bac Ninh is still an attractive destination for investors, both domestic and foreign. It is among the Top Five provinces for attracting investment capital (after Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Binh Thuan and Hai Phong) and is ranked third for the number of projects (after HCM City and Thanh Hoa), with nearly 100 new investment projects, including 90 per cent foreign direct investment projects worth $1.48 billion.
Most of the projects are operating effectively, contributing to the accelerating economic restructuring that will help Bac Ninh become a centre of electronics and telecommunications industry in northern Viet Nam, and one of the most dynamic provinces in the country.
What policies does the province have to attract foreign direct investment to the local industrial parks?
We achieved these results thanks to help from the Party Central Committee, the National Assembly, the Government, ministries, departments and sectors of the State, as well as efforts by local departments, agencies, localities, the business community and all the people in the province.
The provincial Department of Planning and Investment and the Industrial Zones Management Board have worked towards reforming administrative procedures, in particular the process to grant investment licences.
In addition, the province's agencies actively detect and solve difficulties and problems for investors in employment, environment and land lease.
Along with continuing to improve investments in infrastructure to help enterprises, Bac Ninh is committed to reform administrative procedures and make them more flexible and transparent for investors. We deny investment licences to projects that use backward technologies, causing environmental pollution.
What measures are the province taking to become an industrial centre by 2015 and a city under the central government by the 2020s?
Bac Ninh has implemented a plan to attract investors for period 2013 - 2020 with a vision for 2030. This includes six solutions to continue attracting investment and developing the economy.
Accordingly, in the next few years, Bac Ninh will promulgate policies and mechanisms to support investment in sectors such as supporting industries, small and medium enterprises that suit the socio-economic development of the province.
We will continue to invest in infrastructure of industrial parks, small and medium industrial zones, ensure better conditions for transport, electricity, water supply, telecommunications services, and housing for workers.
We will also focus on improving the investment climate, furthering administrative reform, enhancing the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) and the international economic integration index.
We will try to maintain our position among the top 10 provinces and cities that have the best PCI in the country.
With the results achieved in attracting investment in recent years, Bac Ninh aims to attract investment by increasing quality, efficiency and environmental protection in accordance with international standards
We give priority to attracting investors in modern industries, high technologies, clean and environmentally friendly technologies that can effectively and economically use resources for sustainable development.
We encourage investors in the following sectors: information technology, electronics, micro-electronics, biotechnology, tourism, health care, education-training, and entertainment services.
We aim to attract projects associated with research, development and technology transfer that help environmental protection and sustainable development.
We also encourage investors in ancillary industries to reduce input costs of raw materials, and contribute to improving the competitiveness of products. — VNS