Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, Government officials, and leaders of Kiên Giang Province visit a booth showcasing some of the specialities of Kiên Giang Province on the sidelines of the Kiên Giang Investment Promotion Conference held recently in the province. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
KIÊN GIANG — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta Province of Kiên Giang has pledged to further improve its competitiveness and investment climate, making it easy for investors to do business, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, Nguyễn Thanh Nghị, said.
It would also continue to ensure there is a supply of human resources and services to better meet investors’ needs, he said.
It aims to create a dynamic, creative and efficient business environment for investors as it sees their success as its own, he said.
Of the 13 cities and provinces in the Mekong Delta, Kiên Giang has the largest area and second biggest population.
As the western gateway to the region and with the waters of the Gulf of Thailand lapping its shores, the province encompasses a vast sea area of over 63,000 square kilometres. It also shares a 58km border with Cambodia, has the Hà Tiên international border gate and national border gate and two airports besides pristine forests, mountains and more than 100 small and large islands.
It is the country’s largest producer of many agricultural and fisheries items such as rice and shrimp and practises many advanced farming models.
Phú Quốc, aka Pearl Island, ranks among the top tourist destinations in Asia.
The province achieved rapid economic growth, averaging 7.17 per cent, in the 2016-18 period. The number of tourists grew annually at over 20 per cent, and tourism revenues surged 40 per cent.
Phạm Vũ Hồng, chairman of the province People’s Committee, said Kiên Giang’s development in the past was not commensurate with its advantages.
A lot of potential has not been tapped, including in agro-forestry and coastal aquaculture in Giang Thành, Kiên Lương, Hòn Đất, and U Minh Thượng; in marine economic development, especially industrial aquaculture; in industrial development, especially processing associated with local raw materials; in eco-tourism and renewable energy development; and in urban and coastal housing development.
“Besides Phú Quốc, we have three more key tourism areas with plenty of potential: Hà Tiên - Kiên Lương (with the Bà Lụa Archipelago and Tiên Hải Archipelago), Rạch Giá - Kiên Hải (with Hòn Tre, Lại Sơn and Nam Du islands) and the U Minh Thượng area with the U Minh Thượng National Park.
“We are aware that to enable Kiên Giang to become a dynamic and developing province with prosperity and sustainable development, it must necessarily stimulate and exploit effectively and evenly the province’s potential and strengths based on both internal and external resources.
“We also understand that to mobilise resources from outside, there is no better way than to greatly improve the business and investment environment, remove bottlenecks in administrative procedures and complete the legal framework.”
Therefore, in the past few years, the province has put more effort into planning, drawing up preferential policies for investors and reforming administrative procedures.
In addition to the existing traffic infrastructure, new projects such as National Highway 80 connecting Vàm Cống, Hòn Chông seaport in Kiên Lương District and the Dương Đông international seaport, once completed, are expected to help the province attract more investment, he said.
The province recently issued licences to 20 local and foreign projects with a combined investment of VNĐ43.35 trillion (US$1.86 billion) and signed memorandums of understanding with a number of businesses for feasibility studies for 36 others worth over VNĐ150 trillion ($6.46 billion).
The projects are in renewable energy, waste and wastewater treatment, hi-tech agriculture, logistics and tourism property.
Capitalise on resources
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has hailed the province’s efforts to attract investment, noting that in terms of the quality of investment it is one of the top localities nation-wide.
He urged the province to capitalise on its comparative natural advantages and sea-oriented economy and promote its unique agricultural resources and unique and world-class tropical tourism to become one of the most dynamic, innovative and wealthy provinces in the country.
With its geographic advantages, Phúc said, “Kiên Giang’s economy can develop based on three pillars: high-quality agriculture adapted to climate change, clean fish farming and processing targeting the high-end market segment and eco-tourism of international standards.”
The marine economy would be a key growth driver along with the border economy and the breakthrough in the development of Phú Quốc, he said.
“With the unique position of Phú Quốc, we need to have a vision to turn it into a world-class resort tourism centre.”
However, in the process of planning for the development of Kiên Giang in general and Phú Quốc in particular, it is necessary to ensure the quality of the land, water and air and not destroy the environment and nature for short-term benefit, he warned.
The Government would help the province achieve its socio-economic targets and guarantee the legal rights of businesses and investors in the province are protected, he promised. — VNS