Binh Thuan’s bright prospects

14:00 | 19/09/2019
Creating a new motivation for attracting more investment capital, realising the development strategy of Mui Ne National Tourist Area, and enhancing the movement of capital from megacities to localities are the key goals that Binh Thuan province wishes to address at the incoming Investment Promotion Conference on September 22. Chairman of Binh Thuan People’s Committee Nguyen Ngoc Hai talked with VIR’s Ngoc Tuan about the province’s strategic solutions to attain a breakthrough in investment flows.  

Binh Thuan has been ­receiving much interest from many strategic investors, ­especially over the past two years. What are the main ­reasons for this?

binh thuans bright prospects
Chairman of Binh Thuan People’s Committee Nguyen Ngoc Hai

Investment opportunities here have much potential and capital can flow into Binh Thuan very positively. This can be proven by the number of projects which were granted investment decisions and the number of new registered enterprises each year. In the last two years alone, Binh Thuan has approved 264 investment projects, with the total registered capital of over VND53 trillion ($2.3 billion), while over 1,700 enterprises were newly registered with over VND32.8 trillion ($1.43 billion).

At the same time, private investment is making up a growing portion of total investment capital. The ratio accounted for 74.78, 78.13, and 80 per cent in 2017, 2018, and 2019, respectively. This is showing a stable growth rate and investors’ confidence in policies and commitments from the local authorities. Many strategic and large-scale investors such as Vingroup, Novaland, and FLC Group have chosen Binh Thuan to develop their projects.

In addition, Binh Thuan’s Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) has improved remarkably and continuously since 2016. In 2018, the PCI was at 64 points in the band of 100, ranking 22nd out of 63 cities and provinces and 10 positions higher than two years ago.

Has investment capital kicked off Binh Thuan’s economy, helping it to become more active?

Yes, certainly. It must be noted that the investment activities of enterprises have a very positive impact on the economic development of Binh Thuan. The financial flow of investors has helped activate many economic sectors, making them more dynamic and well integrated with the international market. Outstanding markets are tourism, real estate, green energy, and manufacturing industries. Accordingly, in 2018, Binh Thuan’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) increased by 8.08 per cent – the highest ever growth rate that the province has gained since 2016. Provincial budgetary revenue reached more than VND7.3 trillion ($317 million), up 20.3 per cent, while per capita income was at $2,251, up 13.75 per cent compared to 2017.

Notably, the economic growth momentum in 2019 continues to be maintained. In the first six months of 2019, GRDP increased by 8.46 per cent, and provincial budget revenue climbed by 30.9 per cent on-year.

Meanwhile, tourist arrivals in the first half of 2019 reached about three million, up 12 per cent on-year. The total revenue from tourism has hit VND7.4 trillion ($321.74 million) compared to the same period of the previous year.

Binh Thuan is determined that businesses and ­investors are important motivations for its development. As local authorities, we always support enterprises and investors, remove difficulties, and create the most favourable business environment so that they can develop successfully.

On September 22, the Binh Thuan Investment Promotion Conference will take place. What is the advantage of this time?

We believe that this year’s investment promotion conference will create a new driving force for domestic and foreign investment activities into Binh Thuan. We will focus on attracting investment in tourism service infrastructure, meeting the criteria towards realising the goal of forming Mui Ne National Tourist Area according to the province’s Development Master Plan to 2025 with vision to 2030, which was approved by the prime minister in Decision No.1772/QD-TTg in 2018.

This is also an appropriate opportunity to warm up the province’s determination to attract investment, because this is a golden time to create a strong motivation to bring investment flows to Binh Thuan. Therefore, we are converging a lot of conditions for enterprises to be successful in our province.

Currently, there is a breakthrough in transport system improvements, with Dau Giay-Phan Thiet-Nha Trang Expressway being implemented, Vinh Tan International Port soon to be put into operation, and with the establishment of Phan Thiet Airport, which is on track. Binh Thuan will open its gateway to trade and connect with inter-regional economic system in the best manner.

In addition, we have seen that the flow of investment capital in general is tending to shift from large urban centres to potential localities for breakthrough development. Investment in the tourism real estate hotspots of Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, and Danang have recently been slowing down, so strategic investors are looking for investment opportunities in new destinations like Binh Thuan.

Similarly, the field of industrial production also has seen an increasing trend of large scale corporations moving and expanding their factories to nearby localities when industrial centres such as Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, and Dong Nai become so cramped and investment costs increase.

If we can take advantage, Binh Thuan will have more important resources for the province’s socio-economic development.

Which new policies will Binh Thuan offer to attract ­investors at the conference?

We are focusing on several issues to develop our economy. This includes finishing all necessary criteria to become a national-level tourism destination, taking into account the advantages in green energy development; logistics development based at Vinh Tan International Port to become a strategic cargo transshipment point connecting the southern central region and the central highlands; developing a synchronous and modern industrial zone in the south of the province to take advantage of the proximity to Cai Mep Port and Long Thanh International Airport; connecting the southeastern dynamic industrial ecosystem; developing high-tech agriculture; adapting to climate change; and creating a large and effective value commodity chain.

Also at the conference, the province will announce a list of projects calling for investment. Accordingly, we will focus on key areas including tourism with high-class entertainment and commercial services, coastal urban areas, and residential areas; the processing and manufacturing industry with renewable energy; and high-tech agriculture applying modern techniques and technologies to build value chains of cultivation, husbandry, and processing under international standards.

Some of the most prominent projects are an entertainment centre located on Vo Nguyen Giap road with the total investment capital estimated at nearly $360 million, Thien Nghiep-Phu Long Urban Development Area at $1.2 billion, the $500 million Ham Thuan-Da Mi Tourism Complex, and a $12 billion wind power project.

What exactly is behind Binh Thuan’s success in increasing its PCI continuously over the last four years?

Binh Thuan continuously creates a professional investment environment. We strive for administrative reform with the goal of building a companion government, serving the satisfaction of both the people and investors.

The rate of receipt and timely conclusion of dossiers at the provincial Public Administration Centre reached an average of 99.9 per cent. A level of ‘extremely satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with the service of civil servants and officials was recorded by more than 99 per cent of organisations and individuals in a recent survey.

The province’s administrative government online system is being formed towards the improvement of quality and efficiency of state offices to meet the requirements of the people and enterprises. Currently, the provincial portal provides online information from the local authorities and offering online dialogue to people.

Online public services on the electronic information platform and on the Zalo application are also providing public administrative services for people and enterprises regardless of working hours with the motto ‘Satisfaction of people and enterprises is a measure of operational efficiency’. The administrative body has gradually shifted from management to service, through strong reforms of the administrative system, thus improving the quality of economic policy instruction and control.

Binh Thuan authorities have been implementing many synchronous solutions in order to remove difficulties for enterprises, improving the investment environment and the PCI. We will continue our efforts to improve transparency and reduce informal costs to offer the most favourable condition for investors.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc

binh thuans bright prospects

Despite being located in a strategic position and having great potential, Binh Thuan province has not yet effectively exploited its advantages for further development.

The province has vast potential, especially in fields that can be found nowhere else. Binh Thuan has plenty of advantages in nature, geography, and its people, as well as its long and beautiful coast, and a rich culture.

Binh Thuan is developing towards green, clean, and sustainable development, harmonising interest among the local community, investors, and the government.

I highly appreciate the orientation to attract investment and the improvement of the investment environment in Binh Thuan.

The government’s policy is to build the province into a centre of the country in three key areas: a national-level centre for clean energy, a hub for international tourism, and a centre for titanium deep processing. In order to attract more investment into the province, Binh Thuan authorities must have a new thinking and a long-term vision, as well as improve the provincial planning. Planning in different sectors, areas, and products must be well harmonised, and not overlap and hinder each other.

In such planning, it is necessary to enhance the links between Binh Thuan and the southern key economic region, as well as the central coastal provinces.

The province should also propose appropriate solutions and mechanisms to mobilise many different resources for building a synchronous infrastructure system.

Especially, it needs sound policies to attract large-scale and prestigious investors with strong financial resources to invest in the province’s key sectors. Other solutions are promoting administrative reforms, creating a clear investment environment, and building a government which can offer effective dialogue and listen to investors. In addition, Binh Thuan needs to train human resources and create startup spaces for the local business community.

What message do Binh Thuan leaders want to send to the business community and domestic and overseas investors, during the promotion conference?

In order to have a basis for welcoming strategic investors, there must be a clear vision and large-scale planning. We are to send the plan to the central government for advising and we expect to start by the end of this year.

In addition, Binh Thuan in particular, must pay attention to provincial planning to create integration and

connectivity with the economic development areas of the southeast, central, and Central Highlands regions of the country.

The 2019 Investment Promotion Conference will feature a fundamental change in investment attraction and development mindset, in which we focus on the major goal of connecting potential with sustainable development. In order to do so, many

resources are required to be connected in this way. I hope that our message to investors will create a truly open, friendly, and committed environment for the business community to become successful.

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