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Tien Giang set to aid investor journey

With the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang set to host its major investment promotion conference next week, Tran Thanh Duc, Deputy Chairman of the Tien Giang People's Committee, talked with VIR's Huy Tu about the province's distinct advantages, potential, and recent efforts to provide investors with a compelling business environment for mutual sustainable development.


What does Tien Giang have to offer businesses and investors?

Tien Giang boasts many advantages over neighbouring provinces when it comes to attracting investors. Stretching 120 kilometres along the northern bank of the Tien River, the province is located 70km southwest of the southern growth hub Ho Chi Minh City and is part of the southern key economic zone.

The province is home to vast rice fields, fruit orchards, and thriving villages with rich local eco-systems (sea, canals, hills, and the Plain of Reeds or Dong Thap Muoi), each having its own flora and fauna system, creating diversity not only in landscape and soil, but also in cultural and social aspects. Not only that, the province boasts fairly comprehensive road and waterway transport systems. National highways conveniently connect the provincial roads. Ho Chi Minh City-Trung Luong Expressway runs across the province, as will Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway in the not-too-distant future. My Thuan II Bridge construction is also set to commence soon.

In the words of experts, with a seamless transport network being in place in the near future, the province will grow into an important satellite locality, alluring to investors for the development of real estate services, resorts, golf courses, entertainment services, and more, particularly for districts in the eastern areas.

Investors have also made practical assessments of the province's advantages. Its largest comparative advantages are quality and skilled human resources; strong commitment to administrative procedure reforms, particularly in taxation, which helps to save firms time and money; and fairly comprehensive transport and industrial park infrastructure. Notably, the provincial leaders have paid due heed to planning work. Tien Giang has completed, and submitted for approval, provincial- and district-level socio-economic development master planning, land use planning, urban development planning, and sectoral development planning towards 2020 with a vision towards 2030, laying the groundwork to welcome investors.

What have the local authorities done so far towards building a pro-business investment environment?

Through the conference, we want to create a platform to attract diverse investment resources inside and outside the province on a selective basis to realise sustainable socio-economic development targets while still ensuring benefits to people, investors, and the state, and not doing harm to the environment. Towards that goal, the Tien Giang People's Committee has required authorised agencies to do a smart job with planning, while paying due attention to forecast quality in order to boost the efficiency of investment sources from assorted economic sectors.

Having completed the general planning, the province requires sectors and management agencies at grassroots level to draw and submit functional planning schemes at project sites before choosing investment projects and investors to ensure the smooth implementation of projects.

In recent years, growing attention has been paid to ensuring the quality of investment projects and investors. Provincial leaders are committed to rejecting projects posing a threat to the environment or investors failing to show the capacity for project execution.

Aside from improving the quality of planning, the province has worked on presenting investment project wish lists to lure diverse investment sources through investment incentive policies and mechanisms for infrastructure development, particularly those serving industrial zones and industrial clusters (IZs and ICs), urban areas, and trade centres, and those creating a "cleared" land fund to serve investors when needed.

The local authorities have also urged sectors and related management agencies to effectively conduct administrative reforms, striving to build a pro-people and pro-business local government that is proactive, yet friendly. Accordingly, periodical dialogues were and are being held between provincial and district leaders and businesses to inform the social and economic development situation, disseminate businesses' latest policies, and reform contents relating to the local investment environment. Improving human resources quality has been set as a priority to ensure that businesses are provided with high-quality manpower while striving to ensure the effective enforcement of national and local investment incentive policies, particularly those related to the development of IZs and ICs, workers' housing, socialised projects, and agriculture and rural development. The aforementioned targets are and will remain emphasised in the management activities of provincial leaders in the future for building up an ever-increasingly conducive business environment, providing an impetus for our province's socio-economic development and GDP growth.

What message do you want to convey to businesses and investors joining the upcoming investment promotion conference?

It is apparent that Tien Giang possesses greater potential for development and investment attraction than its regional peers. However, we face certain limitations in development. For instance, the province is contiguous to two growth centres in the southern key economic zone, Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho, so we have encountered some difficulties in luring investment in past years.

I believe that challenges and opportunities often run parallel, and that opportunities play a leading role on the province side. The room for Tien Giang to avail itself of opportunities to forge ahead is immense once we take the right steps, particularly given provincial leaders' strong commitment to pushing administrative reforms as well as high-quality human resources and infrastructure systems. Our top target is to build a thriving Tien Giang leveraging the three growth pillars of economy, society, and environment.

(Source: Vietnam Investment Review)

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