Every effort of the Binh Phuoc Provincial People’s Committee and its subordinates, particularly the Department of Planning and Investment, in carrying out policies on investment attraction, investor support and administrative procedure reform has produced positive results. However, the province has still faced certain difficulties and challenges in investment attraction, said Mr. Vo Sa, Director of the Binh Phuoc Department of Planning and Investment.
What plans has Binh Phuoc carried out to become an ideal destination for investors? Could you please tell results of those plans?
To make Binh Phuoc an ideal destination for investors, the province has focused on carrying out the following key tasks:
- Effectively reforming and simplifying administrative procedures relating to investment, production and business; further improving the performance of the Provincial Public Administration Centre, which went into operation in late April 2017.
- Enhancing investment and business supports for enterprises by organising direct monthly meetings and dialogues between provincial leaders and local enterprises; setting up the Task Force for Business Support led by the Chairperson of the Provincial People’s Committee who is assisted by the Director of the Department of Planning and Investment.
- Making clear, transparent and concrete about investment incentive policies and cooperative development policies.
- The province issued and publicised a list of priority projects calling for investment in Binh Phuoc in 2017 – 2020. Accordingly, the province encouraged investment projects making products of high added values and using advanced environment-friendly technologies while restricts energy-intensive, low-tech investment projects that pollute the surroundings.
- The province is focusing investment on infrastructure development, especially transport infrastructure, in order to gradually perfect its traffic network.
Binh Phuoc province licensed 422 new companies with a total registered capital of VND3,952 billion in the first six months of 2017, up 15.6 per cent and 89 per cent year on year, respectively. Meanwhile, the province granted investment licences to 77 domestic direct investment projects with VND5,000 billion in total, an increase of 2.2 times in project and 4.5 times in value. It also attracted seven foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with US$14.8 million in the period.
How do you assess transparency and publicity of administrative procedures as well as the time reduced in handling administrative procedures? Has the province done these well?
The Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Committee have regularly directed relevant departments to review and remove unnecessary administrative procedures to provide the most favourable conditions for investors; carry out the one-place interagency mechanism for business registration, tax, customs and security services. The business/investment registration agency acts as the leader and connects with other authorities to help investors and enterprises to settle all administrative procedures at one place. They will regularly review, update and rationalise investment regulations and related laws in order to build an investor-friendly investment system to call for new domestic and foreign investment projects.
Previously, the department advised the Provincial People’s Committee to issue Decision No. 437/QD-UBND dated March 2, 2016 on process of settling administrative procedures for projects licensed outside economic and industrial zones in the province; Decision No. 1378/QD-UBND dated June 16, 2016 on coordinating and operating mechanism of one-stop single-window unit (located at the Department of Planning and Investment) in settlement of investment procedures for projects outside industrial and economic zones in the province. The unit pledged to reduce the service time to 12 working days from 35.
What are current difficulties of the province in attracting investors?
Binh Phuoc, one of eight provinces in the Southern Key Economic Area, shares a land border of over 260 km with Cambodia. The province is quite far from the commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City, airports and seaports. Meanwhile, it does not have as abundant resources for infrastructure development as other provinces in the region like Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An.
– Most investment projects require large land area and labour forces. Nevertheless, recruitment is not easy in the province because working people are currently engaged in well-paid rubber growing, latex processing and cashew nut processing industries. Meanwhile, energy-intensive, environment-polluting projects tend to inhibit foreign investors from locating their ventures in the province.
– Some FDI companies do not have good cooperation with authorities when they are required to fulfil their duties like submitting reports on project progress or showing business certificates after they hire production facilities from local firms.
What about policies to selectively attract investors and support local businesses, sir?
To attract investors, Binh Phuoc province always provides the most favourable conditions for domestic and foreign investors to do business, gives priority to investors using advanced energy-saving technologies, employing local workers, and applying high-tech to agricultural production. The province resolutely rejects projects that may pose threats to the environment.
The department proposed solutions to support investors and businesses in the province as follows:
– Concentrating all resources on building technical infrastructure systems, preparing land for investors to locate their projects;
– Focusing on administrative procedure reform, reducing unnecessary investment procedures;
– Making public, transparent and clear investment incentive policies, cooperative development encouragement policies where the province pledges highest incentives in the framework stipulated by the government of Vietnam;
– Advising the Provincial People’s Committee to establish the Binh Phuoc Business Development Association and the Binh Phuoc Startup Fund to help authorities to better support the business community.