Soc Trang to become “treasury” of investors

11:55 | 20/06/2018
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has expressed his belief that the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang will become a “treasury” of investors in the near future.
soc trang to become treasury of investors
The Prime Minister meeting with representatives of agencies and international organisations

On June 19, the “Soc Trang—Your Opportunity” investment promotion conference took place in Soc Trang city, featuring the launch of the provincial startup community.

The event gathered the participation of around 500 delegates representing Vietnamese ministries and sectors, international organisations, as well as foreign diplomatic agencies in Vietnam, financial and credit institutions, trade-investment promotion organisations, and businesses and investors, both from home and abroad. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended and addressed the conference.

Tran Van Chuyen, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said that Soc Trang is calling for investment in high-tech agriculture associated with the three priority fields of the processing industry, renewable energy, and tourism.

With a coastline stretching 72 kilometres and three large estuaries, Soc Trang possesses a lot of advantages in developing a seaport and sea freight system. This is also one of the areas in which the province is mobilising investment. Chuyen committed to accompany and create the most favorable conditions in procedures and land to welcome long-term investors.

Nguyen Van Hieu, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, said that despite its advantages, FDI in Soc Trang is still modest. Thereby, this province needs to pay attention to the socioeconomic development master plan, regional linkages, and useful advice from international conglomerates and organisations. Key projects should to be developed quickly, especially infrastructure, which creates connectivity and spill-over effects, as well as improves CPI and enhances business dialogue.

Tran Quoc Khanh, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, agreed with the orientation of renewable energy development, which is considered the province’s breakthrough for sustainable development. Khanh also committed that the Ministry of Industry and Trade would facilitate investors to develop projects in this sector and exploit the potential of the province’s 72km coastline.

Huong Tran Thuy Dung, deputy general director of FLC Group, said that the group is ready to invest into Soc Trang. Despite various initial difficulties and challenges, Dung believed that FLC would create breakthroughs to complete large projects in the province in the time to come.

soc trang to become treasury of investors
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addressing the meeting

At the conclusion of the conference, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that Soc Trang has three estuaries facing the East Sea—Dinh An, Tran De, and My Thanh—giving it a business advantage. The leader suggested that the province develop hi-tech agriculture to adapt to climate change and adopt clean aquaculture, processing industry, and eco-tourism.

The PM highlighted other local advantages, going from cultural and religious diversity to cuisine and festivals, notably Ok Om Bok (moon worship) festival and the Ghe Ngo (Khmer boat) race.

Stressing that education is key to development, the PM asked the province to attract talented people to contribute to the homeland, considering it a driving force for rapid, sustainable, and inclusive development in Soc Trang and the southwestern region as a whole.

According to him, the Trung Luong-Can Tho Highway will create an important driving force for the region, including Soc Trang, once it is completed.

At the event, he proposed building a value chain and manufacturing by connecting farmers, the state, investors, banks, scientists, and distributors, as well as switching to farming with higher added-values.

The province was also urged to improve its business climate to make it more attractive to domestic and foreign investors, while departments and agencies must join Soc Trang in the fight against climate change.

The government leader also asked Soc Trang to offer all possible support to investors, adding that incentives need to be exchanged for corporate social responsibility.

Cooperation agreements on agriculture, trade, and investment promotion, power grid and credit supply between Soc Trang, ministries, and agencies were signed at the event.

soc trang to become treasury of investors
Numerous projects were granted investment certificates

On this occasion, the province granted investment licences and Memoranda of Understanding on investment cooperation to 47 projects worth over $6 billion in total and VND4.3 trillion ($189.4 million) in credit assistance. Certificates of merit and funding were also presented to startup and innovative firms.

Last year, Soc Trang granted investment licences to 29 projects, seven more than in 2016, at a total cost of more than VND4.15 trillion ($181.98 million), or a 3.5-fold increase against the previous year. In the first five months of this year, investment certificates were presented to 12 projects worth over VND2.8 trillion.

In the framework of this investment promotion conference, on June 18, Soc Trang inaugurated the business incubator under the Soc Trang Investment Promotion and Enterprise Support Centre in the presence of Le Thanh Tri, Standing Vice Chairman of the Soc Trang People's Committee, Charlene Laurence, the first secretary of the Canadian Embassy in Vietnam, and leaders of provincial departments, agencies, and startups.

By Nguyen Huong

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