Viet Nam News
Bồ Xuân Hiệp
ĐỒNG THÁP — A new wave of investment is expected in Đồng Tháp Province as its business climate has greatly improved in recent years, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said at a conference held yesterday.
Speaking at an investment promotion conference held in the province, Phúc urged Đồng Tháp to enhance linkages with surrounding provinces and support enterprises, especially start-ups.
He also noted the importance of meeting the growing demand for labour from foreign companies and urged authorities to ensure that local investment policies are consistent, open, transparent, predictable and convenient.
Like other provinces in the region, Đồng Tháp suffers from the effects of climate change, particularly in agricultural production. Phúc called on the province to take serious climate-adaptation measures to ensure its sustainable development.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (centre, sitting) with other high-ranking officials at the conference. VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp
Phúc praised the province’s past achievements in agricultural restructuring, saying it should be considered a pioneer and a bright example for other provinces to follow.
Đồng Tháp is the first area in the Mekong Delta to participate in the government project called “Restructuring the Agricultural Sector until 2020 and Vision to 2030”.
The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the province would become a model of agricultural efficiency and sustainability for the entire country.
Considered the country’s rice granary, Đồng Tháp is the best region in the country for fruit growing, including Cao Lãnh mango, Châu Thành longan, Lai Vung mandarin, Phong Hòa grapefruit, and many other short-term crops.
Speakers at the Investment Promotion Conference held yesterday in Đồng Tháp Province. VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp
Đồng Tháp is calling for investment in 13 major projects involving hi-tech agriculture, the processing industry, urban development, industrial parks, manufacturing, tourism, and trade and services.
Nguyễn Văn Dương, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said Đồng Tháp had recently become an attractive investment destination because of incentives and long-term commitments from local authorities.
“Đồng Tháp will continue to create the most favourable conditions for investors with a focus on improving its business climate, infrastructure construction, administrative reform, and human resources,” he said.
Lê Minh Hoan, Đồng Tháp Province Party Secretary, said Đồng Tháp was among the most dynamic provinces in the Mekong Delta with great advantages in natural resources and geographical position.
The province contributes to the nation’s rice production and produces many other agro-forestry-fishery products for export every year, Hoan said. “The business environment in the province has also improved recently.”
Ousmane Dione, World Bank country manager in Việt Nam, said: “We believe Việt Nam and Đồng Tháp have great potential to develop agribusiness with a focus on high-tech agriculture and modernisation of agri-food value chains.”
This would include “agriculture that is more diverse and resilient to climate change, producing safer and higher quality products for domestic and export markets”, he added.
Speakers talk during a conference break. VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp
Dione said that agribusinesses should work closely with farmers, creating more jobs and bringing new technologies and investments, which are especially important in the light of public debt constraints.
“I also see potential for Đồng Tháp and provinces in the region to promote multi-modal transport solutions for future trade and cooperation with Cambodia on agriculture, industry and construction materials,” he added.
All of these opportunities require financing and strong engagement of the private sector.
“Given the fiscal constraints at the national level, increasingly Đồng Tháp will need to attract more private sector (foreign and domestic) investment in areas like agribusiness. I’ve noticed that a friendly and modern framework is already in place and is being progressively improved,” Dione said.
At the conference, the Prime Minister witnessed the launch of a one-stop-shop and online public service system, which is expected to help investors easily fulfill administrative procedures online.
Also, as many as 21 projects were granted investment certificates and 16 Memorandum of Understandings worth a total of VNĐ23.9 trillion (US$1.05 billion) were signed.
Đồng Tháp in the Mekong Delta is about 160km southwest of HCM City, about a three-hour drive by car.
With its mild climate, widespread irrigation systems and abundant fresh water and fertile sediment, the province has rich agricultural resources and diverse ecosystems containing many species of fauna and flora.
It also has great potential to become a tourist destination as it has many historic sites and traditional craft villages. — VNS