Kien Giang transforms abundant natural endowments into a new magnet for investment

08:00 | 25/07/2019
Naturally endowed with abundant potential, the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has posted impressive growth across diverse economic, cultural, and social fields in recent years. This development, however, proves modest compared to the province’s actual potential. Pham Vu Hong, Chairman of Kien Giang People’s Committee, sheds light on the major advantages and recent efforts to ramp up its charm for investors.
kien giang transforms abundant natural endowments into a new magnet for investment
Pham Vu Hong

The Kien Giang investment promotion conference on July 29 will serve as a good opportunity for the Mekong Delta coastal province to boost its exposure for domestic and international investors, as well as present its development policies and orientations, and a multitude of opportunities for investment.

Of the 13 cities and provinces in the Mekong Delta, Kien Giang takes the lead in natural land area and is the second in population. As the western gateway to the region and directly connected to the Gulf of Thailand, the province encompasses a vast sea area of over 63,000 square kilometres, which is 10 times bigger than the province’s mainland. It also shares a 58km border with Cambodia, and accommodates the Ha Tien international border gate as well as several national border gates.

These factors all provide the province with plentiful advantages for the development of the marine and border economy, as well as promoting intra-regional transport connections with other Southeast Asian countries by road and sea. Albeit a coastal province, Kien Giang is also home to a vast plains area and carries the distinct features of a waterway locality.

In addition, the province carries peculiar features that cannot be experienced in other coastal plain localities such as a primitive forest, streams, and islands.

Leveraging its abundant potential and joint efforts from the business community, Kien Giang has posted impressive growth in the fields of economy, culture, and society in previous years. Consequently, the province commands growing attention from domestic and ­international investors, particularly regarding investment attraction and tourism development for the Pearl Island of Phu Quoc, which has reported the strong presence of large-scale investment projects valued at billions of US dollars.

However, limitations do remain, such as uneven economic development between the areas. ­Development is centered on Phu Quoc Island and Rach Gia city, while the province’s various areas such as Ha Tien, Kien Luong, and U Minh Thuong, which have great potential for agro-forestry, seafood, and tourism development, are modestly developed.

With a vast fishing ground and strong ship fleet, the province’s annual seafood output surpasses 500,000 tonnes. However, as preservation still follows traditional methods, the quality of seafood remains low. ­Little attention has been paid to enhancing the sector’s value chain from farming to processing, resulting in low efficiency across the whole seafood sector.

Investment attraction into the province’s industrial zones (IZs) and clusters (ICs) has reported initial results with more than 24 projects currently in the development pipeline.

Investment, however, is just focused on two IZs – Thanh Loc in Chau Thanh district and Thuan Yen in Ha Tien city. Kien Giang, meanwhile, is home to five IZs and a network of ICs which have basically met investor requirements, particularly regarding the development of the local processing industry attached to promoting locally-available material resources.

In addition, mobilising capital sources for environmental protection is often a thorny issue in Kien Giang. Wastewater and garbage treatment in urban and major tourism areas, therefore, often represent challenges to the province.

To help island communes in clean and renewable energy development supersede the use of existing diesel power generators, Kien Giang always welcomes investment in this field.

To overcome the impasse, provincial leaders have committed to constantly improving the local investment environment, tackling the bottleneck related to administrative procedures and increasingly perfecting the regulatory framework to facilitate project implementation.

In recent years, Kien Giang management authorities at all levels have been doing their utmost to improve planning schemes, introduce investment incentive policies and mechanisms in a timely manner, and push up administrative reforms.

Efforts were also geared towards the establishment of Kien Giang Public Administration Services Centre, which is expected to start operations later this month.

With continuously upgraded local infrastructure and important transport projects such as the new National Highway No.80, Lo Te-Vam Cong Expressway, and Hon Chong Seaport under intensive construction, now is the right time for both domestic and foreign investors to land on projects from the province’s wish-list. They will provide lucrative investment opportunities and are legally ready for implementation, promising to bring practical returns to investors.

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