Region climbs mountain to prosper

14:26 | 09/12/2010
On the eve of this week, an investment promotion forum will be open to coax investment into Vietnam’s north-western region in Yen Bai province. The North-Western Steering Committee’s vice head Le Kha Dau talks with VIR about the forum and the region’s development policies.

Is there anything new at this forum, which has been organised for the second time?

region climbs mountain to prosper
Le Kha Dau

The 2010 north-western investment promotion forum follows the first fruitful one in 2008. Along with introduction and promotion of potential and advantages of the region, we wish to seek advice from economic organisations and investors to improve reform administrative procedures to lure investment more conveniently. We also want this forum to lay a firm groundwork for establishing specific cooperation models in the region.

That is cooperation between the region’s localities to implement projects involving many provinces and establish the links between the north-western region and the country’s developed centres, and between material producing areas with enterprises.

At this forum, investment will be attracted for 12 provinces in the region including Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La, Hoa Binh, Phu Tho, Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Bac Kan, Lang Son and Cao Bang. These provinces have similar socio-economic conditions, which will make it easier to create and implement links.

Under the government’s orientation for the north-western socio-economic development, what fields will be tapped?

Investment will be called for into agro-forestry projects in connection with development of material areas, via cooperation between enterprises and farmers.

Investment will also lured into constructing infrastructure, particularly transport systems, tapping cultural, historical and ecological tourism potential, improving vocational and training services and ameliorating work force to fully meet the region’s development.

Over the past years, there have been many successful industrial-agricultural cooperation models, between wood and paper processing businesses and forest planters. Enterprises and farmers have also cooperated in growing and processing high quality tea such as O Long and Bat Tien, cooperation in planting rubber trees between the Vietnam Rubber Industry Group with farmers in Son La, Lai Chau and Dien Bien provinces. I think that such achievements are vivid evidence, which will encourage investors into this field.

The region’s transport systems have already been ameliorated. However, the region’s transport infrastructure is still not as developed as those in other regions. We look forward to receiving more official development assistance and the region’s transport network can be developed under the pilot Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.

The region also has advantages of developing historical, cultural and ecological tourism, with many famous destinations such as Sapa, Ba Be Lake, Ha Giang Rock Park, Hung King Temple, Pac Bo, Tan Trao and Dien Bien Phu.

Given the country’s efforts to renew its growth model and economic structure, vocational training development, especially rural labour vocational training, in line with the labour market’s demand, is also a field prioritised for investment attraction.

What should be done to attract more investment into the region?

Because the region is of strategic importance in terms of geographical position, economics, society, national security and defence, as well as foreign affairs, the Vietnamese government has been attaching great importance to the region, so as to boost its socio-economic development to a level higher than the whole country’s development level.

The region has fewer advantages regarding infrastructure and work force quality than other regions. Thus there will be special mechanisms and policies exclusively applied to this region, so that it can expand its wings to take off.

Based on the government’s preferential policies and incentives, ministries, relevant governmental agencies and local authorities are studying these policies and incentives to apply them to each province in the region.

Special attention must be paid to administrative reforms, improving transparent investment climate which can give the best conditions to investors to do business in the region.

Encouragingly, some provinces in the region have been consecutively ranked as top ones in the provincial competitiveness index list. For example, Lao Cai was ranked third in 2009.

Together with ministries, relevant governmental agencies and local authorities, the North-Western Steering Committee welcomes and stands ready to combine and connect investors’ capital, technology and market-related know-how with the provinces’ potential in land, labour and weather.

vir

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