Government by the Side of Businesses

Being aware of the crucial role of the business force in the cause of industrialisation and modernisation of the province, Dong Thap has carried out consistent solutions to build a favourable business environment to attract more external investment capital. In response to the ongoing effort of the provincial government, more and more domestic and foreign investors have come to Dong Thap to explore investment opportunities and do business. Mr Truong Hoa Chau, Director of the Provincial Department of Planning and Investment, said Dong Thap is committed to always accompanying and supporting investors to carry out their projects effectively and contribute more to the construction and development of Dong Thap – Pink Lotus Realm. Truong Thanh reports.

Over the years, the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) has not only brought out the moniker “Dong Thap – Government sides with the business” but also opened up many opportunities for investment attraction for local socioeconomic development. Could you please demonstrate this with investment attraction results of the province?

When the 2015 PCI rankings were announced, leaders of Dong Thap province had clear attitude and determination to further improve the local investment and business environment as well as competitiveness to raise its PCI, which always stands in the group of localities with very good administration quality.

Remarkably, the Provincial People’s Committee decided to establish and operate the Public Administration Centre on October 3, 2016 to handle administrative procedures provided by 16 departments and agencies. The province also created many communication channels to connect with enterprises, timely solve emerging issues in investment, production and business. The Business Coffee model, launched in 2015, is not only a place for addressing pressing issues facing local enterprises, but is more importantly a meeting place for two-way information exchange to build up the interaction of the government with the public and businesses.

In addition, the variety of information and communication means of Dong Thap province on its official websites and social networks (Facebook, Zalo and YouTube), and the Electronic Information Portal of the province, has ensured information transparency of the Government and attracted more and more investors to the province. Its PCI is always ranked among the top group, particularly in component indices such as time costs, unofficial charges and market entry fees. Solutions to create more information channels to connect with enterprises and address matters arising from investment, production and business operations have helped improve the local investment environment, attract more non-state investment capital and boost socioeconomic growth.

To date, through province’s efforts for a better and more attractive business environment, Dong Thap has obtained optimistic results. The figures in business start-ups and new projects showed the transformation of the “Pink Lotus Realm”. In 2016, with activities to launch investment promotion and business support programmes, create a favourable, safe and friendly business environment, the number of new enterprises and new projects improved significantly over 2015. In particular, 459 new businesses were founded (up 15.6 per cent over 2015) with a total registered capital of VND2,720.170 billion. The province granted investment registration certificates to 51 projects with a total registered investment of VND3,403 billion, an increase of 136 per cent in projects and VND1,520 billion in investment capital over 2015.

In the coming time, Dong Thap will continue to perfect its friendly administration service model, accompany businesses, and facilitate investors to invest and operate effectively. With those determinations, we believe that the province has been moving in the right direction to achieve the goal of its motto: “Dong Thap – an attractive destination for investors”.

Not only achieving highly effective investment attraction, Dong Thap is also a leading province in public administration reform and business development support. How has the province dealt with this?

Not only achieving highly effective investment attraction, Dong Thap is also a leading province in public administration reform and business development support. How has the province dealt with this?

Dong Thap also publicly announced administrative procedures under the jurisdiction of administrative agencies at the one-place single-window administrative units and on relevant websites operated by provincial bodies and district governments. The province formed and effectively operated the Public Administration Centre – the focal point that receives all administrative procedures under the jurisdiction of 16 provincial departments. It also reviewed and simplified administrative procedures in some departments. For example, the Department of Planning and Investment is committed to shortening the service time for business registration to 2.5 working days (compared with three days generally provided); reduce the time of issuing investment registration certificates to 18 working days in case of approval (compared with 30 days generally provided) and to 12 days in case of disapproval (compared with 15 days generally provided). In addition to administrative procedure reform, the province has reformed the public service mechanism and improved the attitude of civil servants.

The province’s efforts for public administration reform have brought about positive effects, not only ensuring information access, feedback and proposals, but also eliminating time barriers and reducing costs and risks in administrative procedure settlement, hence raising the level of business and public satisfaction in the provision of public services.

While agricultural investment attraction has not seen much improvement in either projects or value for a long time, Dong Thap has become a bright spot for agricultural investment. Could you please elaborate on this success?

To carry out the Dong Thap Agricultural Restructuring Scheme to 2020, with a vision to 2030, the province has focused on developing some key commodities with competitive advantages, encouraging high-tech agricultural development and aligning agricultural production and consumption. To incentivise agricultural investment, we have applied the maximum level of investment incentives and supports as prescribed by the State. Combining these factors, Dong Thap has made positive changes in investment attraction in agriculture. In 2016, the province licensed 22 agricultural investment projects with a total capital of VND2,295 billion. Especially, in 2015 – 2016, it licensed four foreign-invested agricultural projects with a total investment of over US$63 million.

With effective human resources policies, abundant land, agricultural products and especially PCI ranked among the top in the country for many years, Dong Thap is considered a good place to start a business. So, what specific tasks and solutions has the province deployed to build a local start-up ecosystem?

In order to inspire entrepreneurship, the Provincial People’s Committee organised a training and experience sharing session for local business start-up officials; an entrepreneurial thinking sharing session for more than 500 students and members of Cao Lanh Business Start-up Club. Business Start-up Programme on Dong Thap Television, broadcast twice a week and joined by experienced start-up entrepreneurs, shares experiences in business start-up and inspires entrepreneurship.

The Provincial Youth Union, the Cao Lanh City People’s Committee cooperated with BSA to organise field visits to model start-ups in the province under the [email protected] Project. BSA chose Dong Thap as the main point for its start-up exchange programme in 2017. The delegation has visited many model start-ups such as Tam Viet organic rice, Dong Thap fragrance, dried lotus and Start-up Club 152, as well as exchanged with students from Dong Thap University.

In addition, start-up affection organisations have been established, including Dong Thap Leading Business Club and Dong Thap Businesswoman Association. Cao Lanh City People’s Committee founded the Cao Lanh Start-up Club, combined with the Start-up Club 152, set up the Advisory Council for Dong Thap Start-up. The birth of these organisations is the invisible cord that joins businesses together to discuss and plan business strategies, as well as share and overcome risks.

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