An Giang opens the doors to attract further investment

08:00 | 11/12/2018
During the preparations for the investment promotion conference in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang on December 15, titled “Connecting Opportunities for Successful Co-operation”, Chairman of the An Giang People’s Committee Vuong Binh Thanh told VIR’s Huu Phuc about the  opportunities and potential that the province offers to  investors.

What is An Giang expecting from the upcoming conference?

an giang opens the doors to attract further investment
Chairman of the An Giang People’s Committee Vuong Binh Thanh

This is the largest investment promotion conference of its kind to ever be held in An Giang, and local leaders have thus set a very clear goal. It will be the place to showcase the potential of the province, as well as preferential funding policies, serving as a basis for upcoming activities. The conference will create a direct channel for international investors and organisations to meet provincial leaders.

It will also help support and promote activities through collaboration and connection between the province and domestic and foreign enterprises, as well as provide these businesses with information and lists of projects seeking investment in An Giang.

Along with this, we will consider to grant in-principle approvals to a number of large-scale investment projects. Most of these will be implemented in 2019, as they have met the conditions.

The projects that are approved in principle and those that have been registered or are calling for investment, should they be carried out on schedule, will greatly contribute to the province’s economic growth.

What advantages of the province are being acknowledged by investors?

An Giang is a province located in the Mekong Delta region, home to many paddy fields and mountainous areas with beautiful landscapes. It has a 100-kilometre border with Cambodia and convenient waterways and highways. The province serves as the commercial hub that connects Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, and Cambodia’s Phnom Penh, and is a crucial gateway for trade on a national and regional scale. An Giang boasts favourable natural conditions which are deemed important factors for its agricultural development, with the annual volume of rice and freshwater produced in the province being in the highest-capacity group nationwide. The rice paddy fields, in particular, cover an area of over 250,000 hectares with three main crops and some 35 varieties of rice. Freshwater produces, including catfish, take up an area of 2,700ha, generating some 379,000ha of export products annually.

The province also has great potential for tourism development with the mysterious Seven Mountains range, the spiritual Ba Chua Xu temple festival, the Khmer’s Dolta ceremony and Ox Racing festival, and the High-water Season festival. These have proven their attractiveness to local and foreign visitors. In 2017, An Giang welcomed 7.3 million visitor arrivals, with an income from tourism up to VND3.7 trillion ($160.86 million). These natural resources are deemed as the basis for the province to call for investment in agriculture and tourism.

Within the framework of this conference, we will introduces a list of 60 projects calling for investment across many fields.

an giang opens the doors to attract further investment
With An Giang holding its largest-ever investment promotion conference this week, the local authorities are preparing for new investment

Which opportunities can investors seize at the upcoming conference?

At present, An Giang is striving to improve our business environment, promote administrative reform, and focussing on building infrastructure to invite domestic and foreign investors. We’ll flexibly apply the policies of the government in favour of enterprises and in accordance with the law, especially tax incentives, land rental, credit support, investment support to develop tourism and create a land bank. The province will also create favourable conditions for investors to complete procedures as soon as possible to enter the market, access capital, and provide human resources.

The economic strength of An Giang is, as mentioned, tourism and agriculture. At this conference, the province will announce a detailed list of projects for these two main sectors to attract more investment. These are the projects selected by the province, carefully considered to ensure the efficiency and feasibility, especially in the creation of a land bank, connecting transport infrastructure, electricity, water and telecommunications.

Apart from general incentives the government has introduced, what can An Giang itself can offer investors?

As we’ve recognised and perceived the potentials and advantages of our province, we’ve created preferential mechanisms for investors in order to attract capital and encourage the growth of the business sector, on top of the supporting policies that the government has issued. They include policies to encourage firms to invest in agriculture and rural areas, supporting programmes for investment projects to develop tourism services. The policies also include guidelines that suspend land rental for the first few years of investment that are aimed at encouraging high-tech agricultural projects of high importance to leverage the agricultural development of the province. In addition, we’re also developing a plan to encourage and support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, expected to be approved and implemented within 2019.

How has An Giang improved its ­business environment so far?

An Giang always considers improving the business investment environment, enhancing competitiveness, supporting and developing enterprises as the key programme of the province, which is the main and regular task of the whole system.

In that spirit, the An Giang Party Committee and People’s Committee are determined to create and support enterprises to develop and contribute to economic development, towards a focus of building a competitive business environment and to transparency, removing barriers and creating favourable conditions for all to develop production and business.

An Giang has set up provincial- and district-level business support boards with the task of removing ­obstacles for ­enterprises. When organising meetings with the local business community, the An Giang People’s Committee always directs the assisting team of the boards to issue the minutes and the conclusions of the committee right after the meeting is finished, without having to wait for three or five working days as before.

Dialogues between government and enterprises are conducted openly, with many practical activities, such as business dialogues (twice a year) and ‘entrepreneur coffee’ model (every two weeks), to provide opportunities for interaction, narrow the distance between enterprises and local authorities. This is also a direct dialogue channel between provincial leaders and departments with the business community to solve difficulties facing enterprises.

Annually, the province orders its departments, agencies and state agencies to deploy inspections and supervision of civil servants on the professional ethics, administrative reform, corruption and harassment. It also strengthens public inspection and handles official violations that cause troubles to enterprises.

An Giang always supports investors and businesses with the motto of “responsibility, friendliness, one-stop shop”. The province creates an open investment climate and the most favourable conditions for investors and firms to invest in production and business activities. It also makes clear on socio-economic development policies, land use plan, documents and administrative procedures for business registration, investment registration. With the dynamic direction and administration of the province and the implementation of the industry leaders, An Giang hopes to bring satisfaction for all firms and investors.

We, the local leaders, are thus fully committed to always ensuring the necessary conditions for An Giang to become a place to connect ­opportunities and co-operate successfully with our investors. Interested parties, when coming to An Giang, will not go wrong with their ­investment as the province commits with its slogan of “Fast procedure, safe business, effective investment, and sustainable development”. Enterprises will soon realise that An Giang is, in reality, a reliable, safe and convenient destination for new development ­opportunities.

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