Kien Giang creates a solid foundation to attract investment

Sunday, 2019-07-28 15:19:53
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A corner of a new urban area in Rach Gia city. (Photo: NDO/Viet Tien)
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NDO – An investment promotion conference into Kien Giang province is schedule to take place on July 29, offering an opportunity for the southern province to continue promoting its policy and major development orientation, as well as its potential and investment opportunities in all fields, to domestic and foreign investors. In the face of this important conference, the Chairman of Kien Giang Provincial People's Committee, Pham Vu Hong, shared with Nhan Dan Newspaper correspondent Viet Tien on a number of related issues.

Introducing Kien Giang’s potentials and advantages, Hong said that Kien Giang is the coastal province in the Mekong Delta with the largest natural area and the second largest population among 13 provinces and cities in the region. With its location as the western gateway of the region and facing the Gulf of Thailand, Kien Giang has a coastline of more than 200 km, a sea area of ​​over 63,000 km2, and a border line with Cambodia of over 58 km, with Ha Tien international border gate and a number of national border gates, which have given Kien Giang a certain advantage in marine and border economic development, as well as transportation with countries in the Southeast Asia. Kien Giang has more than 137 islands, of which Phu Quoc island has an approximate island area relative to ​​Singapore which is developing very well. Islands such as Ba Lua, Ha Tien, Nam Du and An Thoi have been considered as the “Ha Long Bay of the South,” proving potential in developing marine tourism. In addition, Kien Giang has a large delta, with two national parks, of which U Minh Thuong National Park is Vietnam's eighth Ramsar site.

Over recent years, bringing into full play its potentials, strengths and specific characteristics, together with the cooperation and companion of the business community, Kien Giang has developed impressively in socio-economic aspects. Until now, in Phu Quoc island district alone there are 304 valid investment projects with total investment of about VND13.5 trillion, creating jobs for 15,000 workers, along with 70 projects under construction with a total investment of VND158 trillion. The number of tourists coming to Kien Giang continues to increase, with nearly 4.3 million visitors in the first six months of 2019. Budget revenue also reached more than VND6 trillion. Kien Giang became one of the localities to receive the attention of domestic and foreign investors, especially in attracting investment towards developing tourism.

Kien Giang has shown very good development, but Hong admitted that its potential and advantages have not been exploited and promoted properly. In development, there are still inadequacies, in that economic development is not uniform, mainly focusing on Phu Quoc and Rach Gia city, while Kien Giang has a lot of potential for agricultural economy, forestry, fisheries and tourism in Ha Tien, Kien Luong, U Minh Thuong, Hon Dat and Kien Hai but has not been exploited properly yet. Specifically, with a large fishing ground and the largest fishing fleet of the country (nearly 11,000 vessels, with an average capacity of 400 CV per boat), the annual fishing output is over 500,000 tonnes but the preservation of products after catching is limited, with only 20% of the catch meeting export standards. Most notably, the value chain from fishing, storage and processing has not been focused, so the value and efficiency of the fisheries sector is still low.

Attracting investment in industrial parks in the province has achieved initial results, with more than 24 projects already implemented, but only concentrated in Thanh Loc and Thuan Yen industrial parks, while Kien Giang has up to five industrial parks and a system of local industrial clusters which have met the basic conditions for project implementation, especially for processing industries associated with local raw materials, but are still waiting for investors. In addition, Kien Giang is facing difficulties in mobilising investment resources in the field of environmental treatment for waste water and the waste of urban and key tourist areas. The development of clean and renewable energy, especially in island communes, to replace existing diesel power generators is also facing difficulties in attracting investors.

Kien Giang leaders said that, to overcome the difficulties, they must first find measures to evenly exploit the potential and strengths of the province. It is essential for Kien Giang to rely on internal resources, while attracting external resources to make breakthroughs for sustainable development, Hong stated, adding that to mobilise resources from outside, there is no better solution than to continue to improve the business investment environment, remove bottlenecks of administrative procedures and complete the legal framework to help external resources be released in the shortest time through investment projects implemented in the locality. In order to do this, the local authorities will do their best in completing the set plans, formulating investment incentive policies and mechanisms based on the common policy framework and specific characteristics of the locality, and promoting reform of administrative procedures in putting the provincial Public Administration Service Centre into operation.

In conjunction, the province also promotes the existing transport infrastructure system, including the National Highway No. 63, Vam Cong bridge, An Thoi and Vinh Dam seaports and Rach Gia and Phu Quoc airports, while speeding up the progress for a new route linking Highway No. 80 - Lo Te - Vam Cong and Hon Chong and Duong Dong seaports.

Chairman of Kien Giang Provincial People's Committee, Pham Vu Hong. (Photo: NDO/Viet Tien)

“I think this is the best time for domestic and foreign investors to come to the projects that Kien Giang needs. Certainly, investors will find new attractive investment opportunities in Kien Giang that meet the conditions for immediate implementation and will bring the most practical effect,” Hong affirmed, adding that the local government will do all they can with the ultimate goal of better supporting and accompanying the business community during project implementation in Kien Giang.

In preparation for this investment promotion conference, Kien Giang has selected 118 major projects out of the more than 200 that the province calls for investment during 2018-2020. Among the 118 projects, the provincial leaders put high expectation on those of three main areas, namely tourism - service, agriculture, and industry - construction.

In industrial development, Kien Giang focuses on agro-fishery processing and construction material production. Concerning construction, it will focus on coastal cities, with orientation to become a model urban area of the whole Mekong Delta, because only Kien Giang has coastal towns, including Rach Gia, Ha Tien and Kien Luong. Regarding agriculture, Kien Giang focuses on aquaculture projects. In the field of industrial shrimp farming, Kien Giang has great potential. This will be an area to create a major shift of the agricultural sector towards improving quality and value to gradually develop high-tech organic agriculture, Hong stated.

Head of Kien Giang Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre, Nguyen Duy Linh Thao, said that before the Investment Promotion Conference, the centre has mobilised 18 enterprises and investors to conduct a field survey in 23 projects covering culture, tourism, environment, trade, agricultural production processing and real estate, with a total registered capital at nearly VND11.3 trillion.