PM's working group to help remove obstacles for investment projects

September 29, 2021 - 08:19
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Trần Duy Đông, Deputy Head of the Prime Minister's Working Group, talks to the Government Portal about the operation plan of the Prime Minister's Working Group, which was recently set up to report to and advise the Government on removing obstacles for investment projects.


Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Trần Duy Đông. Photo

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Trần Duy Đông, Deputy Head of the Prime Minister's Working Group, talks to the Government Portal about the operation plan of the Prime Minister's Working Group, which was recently set up to report to and advise the Government on removing obstacles for investment projects.

The Working Group was established under the Prime Minister's Decision No. 1242/QĐ-TTg. So what are the special things about the group's mission, as well as the activities of the team?

The working group has been assigned 10 tasks, of which two are key and special tasks.

The first is to review the problems of existing investment projects, with the goal of removing barriers and putting these projects into operation soon. These are all existing and ongoing projects, so if the difficulties are removed, it will help free up investment resources, including public investment capital, ODA capital, and projects in the form of public-private partnership (PPP).

Taking advantage of this resource is very important, both to promote economic growth and help create jobs for workers, especially in the context that foreign investment is somewhat hindered due to COVID-19. 

Another special task of the working group is to support large-scale foreign investment projects. Recently, we have seen that, despite the difficult context, many large-scale FDI projects are still promoting investment. Among them, there are OEM projects (Original equipment manufacturing) of suppliers for Apple, or projects of Samsung and LG. 

For example, LG Display has just increased its capital by US$1.4 billion. Previously, this company also poured another $750 million into Việt Nam. Therefore, we need to continue to support and facilitate these projects to attract more capital from large investors and multinational corporations.

The working group has the function of advising the Prime Minister to solve as quickly as possible difficulties of ministries, sectors and localities in the process of implementing investment projects, based on three contents. 

Firstly, with the content that falls under the responsibilities of ministries and has been clearly defined, the Working Group shall explain it in meetings, and apply it uniformly across the country, avoiding misinterpretations. 

Secondly, the working group has an independent voice, assigning ministries and branches to amend and supplement contents related to the competence of ministries and branches, for example guiding circulars, to make it appropriate with the actual situation. At the same time, we advise the Government on correcting the contents related to the Government's authority, such as decrees. 

Thirdly, if there are problems with the laws, the working group will coordinate with ministries, branches and localities to advise the Government to propose amendments.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment has been chairing a series of conferences to discuss difficulties and obstacles in the implementation of investment projects in localities. This is considered the first activity of the Special Working Group. Could you tell us the specific results of this activity?

In fact, before implementing the tasks of the special working group, the Ministry of Planning and Investment asked localities to review difficulties and obstacles in the investment process of projects. Therefore, we follow the results from localities.

We choose to work with localities in key economic regions and have many problems, such as the past two conferences with Hà Nội and Quảng Ninh. 

These are two localities with many large investment projects, especially Hà Nội, with projects costing billions of dollars, or large-scale projects using ODA loans. There are also many such projects in Quảng Ninh. If we can clear the bottlenecks for these projects, that would be great.

The working group determined that all advice to the Prime Minister and the Government must come from the reality of localities. In the spirit of removing the bottlenecks of projects to free up resources for the economy, the working group has gathered and immediately answered 25 problems raised by Hà Nội and 18 problems raised by Quảng Ninh Province regarding three types of projects - public investment, production, business and PPP projects.

Also in the series of our activities, at the meeting with Hưng Yên Province, this locality raised five major problems at three levels. The first is the wish to amend legal regulations, including laws and decrees. Second, there are issues that are not well understood, with different interpretations that make implementation at local level risky. The third is specific situations, regulations on projects that need to change land use purposes. On these issues, the working group will report to the Government for final decisions.

In addition, in parallel with the activities of the working group, the Prime Minister has also decided to establish a Special Working Group on removing difficulties for businesses and people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng has also worked with the Việt Nam Association of Construction Contractors to listen and be ready to support them in order to solve problems related to the implementation of investment projects. 

In the future, what will the working group focus on?

We selected 8-10 localities representing key economic regions to hold conferences to discuss difficulties in project implementation. Next, the working group will organise more meetings with localities such as Đà Nẵng City, Quảng Nam Province in the central key economic region, and Hải Phòng - a city with many large investment projects. For the southern provinces, when the pandemic is under control, we will exchange more information and work thoroughly on this matter.

After hearing localities’ opinions, the Ministry of Planning and Investment will assume the prime responsibility for working with ministries and sectors. Minister Nguyễn Chí Dũng, in his capacity as Permanent Deputy Head of the special working group, will listen to suggestions and recommendations.

During the implementation process, the Ministry of Planning and Investment will also have its own, independent and objective views. Because sometimes the perceptions of the concerned parties are different. It may be for their own interests that some ministries and localities do not want to change, going against the spirit of decentralisation to localities along with inspection and monitoring. The Prime Minister has repeatedly emphasised that ministries and sectors only make policies, planning, orientation and support. Localities must organise implementation and monitoring more effectively and must not abuse their power.

The working group will summarise and report to the Government in September the issues that have been guided, clearly answered for localities and advise stronger policy decisions to resolve existing problems. 

Along with that, the Ministry of Planning and Investment is also drafting the Government's Resolution on measures to support businesses in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and simultaneously reviewing and amending the laws on investment and business.

The ministry has also actively proposed to amend a series of bills related to investment and business. The common spirit is to actively and decisively remove difficulties, support people, businesses and investment projects. — VNS