Northwest Expanding Potential, Linking Opportunities

Source: Pano feed


Ahead of the opening of Northwest Investment Promotion and Social Security Conference; in honour of outstanding businesses in 2015, and the announcement of Decision on the Moc Chau National Tourism Site Master Plan to be held in Son La province in early April 2015, Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Politburo Member and Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Head of the Steering Committee for the Northwest, on some relevant issues. Ngo Khuyen – Le Sang report.The Party and the Government have defined the position and role of the Northwest. How have the Party and the Government cared for the development of the Northwest?

The Northwest consists of Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La, Hoa Binh, Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Lang Son, Bac Giang, Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, Tuyen Quang, and seven western districts of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An. This area has huge potential for the development of agriculture, forestry, hydropower, mining, tourism and border economy, and has a decisive role in the ecological environment of the entire northern region. The Northwest is home to many ethnic groups with unique cultural identities. Needless to say, the Northwest is a strategic area of special importance to economy, society, defence, security and development of the country.

Shortly after the success of the August Revolution in 1945, President Ho Chi Minh and the Party Central Committee had a special care for Northwest ethnic minorities. At the Conference on Vietnam Ethnic Minorities on December 3, 1945, President Ho Chi Minh stated that the Government will try its best to help ethnic minorities in all aspects. Economically, the Government will develop agriculture for the people. Culturally, the Government will pay attention to teaching letters for people. In nine years of French War from 1946 to 1954, the Central Party and the Government returned to Tan Trao, stayed together with the people to conduct a resistance war and beat invaders in Dien Phien Phu Battle. During 20 years of American War, in spite of sacrificing every effort for the southern battlefield, the Central Party Committee and the Government never forgot to take care of the Northwest people.

After the national reunification, especially post-doi moi (renovation) era, the Party and the Government have reserved special attention to Northwest development. A lot of policies were issued to speed up economic restructuring, infrastructure construction, education and health investment and human resource development, including Resolution 37 and Conclusion 26 of the Politburo and the Prime Minister’s Decision 1580 on socioeconomic development, national defence and security. These policies enabled the region to boost socioeconomic development, ensure national defence and security, and reduce poverty. However, the Northwest is still the poorest area in the country. Building a comprehensive sustainable development zone is both a requirement and an aspiration of the people here but also an important task to the cause of socioeconomic development, national defence and security assurance.

As head of the Steering Committee for the Northwest, how do you assess the operations of the Steering Committee and Northwest development in the past 10 years?

As head of the Steering Committee for the Northwest, how do you assess the operations of the Steering Committee and Northwest development in the past 10 years?

The following briefs operations of the Steering Committee for the Northwest in the past 10 years.

Firstly, the Steering Committee thoroughly understands the area, timely informs, inspects and directs ministries, branches and localities to implement resolutions, directives and decisions of the Politburo, the Secretariat and the Prime Minister on socioeconomic development, security, defence, ethnic affairs, religion, political system construction, with the focus placed on the implementation of Resolution No. 37-NQ/TW of the Politburo. The committee also helped provinces to deal with complex difficulties, particularly inter-provincial ones, and timely advised the Politburo, the Secretariat and the Prime Minister on remedial measures to stabilise the situation, especially in extraordinary developments of politics, security, social order and safety.

Secondly, the committee also researched, advised and proposed mechanisms, policies and schemes to create motivations for tapping local potential and strengths, speeding up development pace, strengthening grassroots political system, ensuring religious security, improved living standards and spiritual life of the people, preventing devastating schemes of hostile forces, and ensuring solid national defence, security and sovereignty.

Third, the committee timely mobilised officials, soldiers and people, especially typical community leaders and exemplary figures to promote active factors and good models in economic, social life, ensure social security and safeguard the homeland.

In addition, the committee successfully hosted many important conferences which helped the region to draw more resources for socioeconomic development, accelerated administrative procedure reform, and improve the investment and business climate. Currently, the committee is working closely with the National University of Hanoi to deploy a scientific research programme for Northwest sustainable development in order to accelerate scientific and technological application in production, improve the efficiency of economic restructure and labour structure, and change the growth pattern.

With the close guidance of the Central Party and the Government, the involvement of ministries and branches, the effort of local governments and the people, the Northwest has made significant and comprehensive development over the past 10 years. Many localities have seen fast-changing urban zones and rural areas. The economic structure has been shifted towards an expected pattern, with a growing proportion of industry, trade and services. Social and economic infrastructure has been significantly improved. Presently, the region has more than 800 water supply facilities serving over 1.5 million people. 97 percent of communes have access to the national grid. Per capita income was VND21.5 million (US$1,000) in 2013, an increase of 5.5 times over 2004. The poverty rate declined rapidly; security and defence continued to be maintained; social order was guaranteed; and the political system was basically consolidated. The operating capacity of administrative apparatus and staff quality gradually increased.

What are basic issues the Northwest has focused on to carry out the Prime Minister’s Decision 1580/QD-TTg dated September 6, 2014 on the issue of plans for enforcement of the Politburo’s Conclusion 26-KL/TW on acceleration of socioeconomic development, security and defence in the Northwest?

Currently, the Northwest remains poorer than other regions in the country; thus, it needs to achieve higher than average growth rate of the whole country. Some major development objectives of the Northwest until 2020 include annual GDP growth of 7-8 percent per, per capita GDP of US$2,000, agriculture to GDP of 21.9 percent, industry and construction to GDP of 38.7 percent, and services to GDP of 49.4 percent, annual export growth of 16-17 percent, poverty rate reduced by 3-4 percent a year, trained labour ratio of over 65 percent. These are very tasks given the current context.

To successfully implement these objectives, the region needs to implement many consistent development solutions, with greater priority placed on following basic tasks:

One, the region will seriously implement directives and resolutions, especially Conclusion 26-KL/TW dated August 2, 2012 of the Politburo on the continued implementation of the Resolution No. 37-NQ/TW dated July 1, 2004 of the Politburo. The region needs to focus on fields with rich local potential, strengthen and comparative advantages like agriculture, forestry, mining, hydropower, tourism and cross-border trade.

Two, the region needs to strengthen national defence and security, build up local armed forces with a strong political will and good expertise to meet missions and requirements; incorporate economic development with national defence and security; build up a strong defence area; prevent crimes, especially drug crimes and human trafficking; proactively grasp local situations to respond to unexpected situations; coordinate relevant units in hot spots; and upholding friendly relations with neighbouring countries.

Three, the region will pace up agricultural restructuring and new countryside construction; gradually apply science and technology to eliminate outdated farming methods, restructure crops and livestock, and adopt high-valued farming; integrate production with processing and consumption, create strong connectivity between farmers, businesses and scientists to generate products of high added value and competitiveness. Forest development will be controlled. The region will bring an end to nomadic living and farming.

Four, the region will improve the quality of human resources, especially education, vocational training and employment training, thus helping enhance labour efficiency to serve development requirements. The Northwest will raise the quality of healthcare facilities to better serve the people; carry out social security works; strengthen cultural institutions at the grassroots levels, remove old traditions; adopt cultured life; and promote cultural identities of ethnic groups.

Five, the region will upgrade and improve infrastructure, particularly trunk roads, routes to border gates and border patrol roads; expand rural roads; build more irrigation works; restore degraded works; and enlarge power networks to far-lying areas.

Six, the region will focus on quickening administrative reform, improving the investment and business environment, especially raising provincial competitiveness index (PCI); build a strong political system, particularly at the grassroots level; promote the strength of the political system and mobilise the people to follow Party and State policies and laws; restore moral values and cultural traditions; and strengthen solidarity among ethic groups in the region.

What do expect in terms of results of three conferences on investment promotion into the Northwest? What message would you like to deliver to the upcoming conference?

The Northwest Investment Promotion Conference is an important event for Northwest provinces, hosted by the Steering Committee for the Northwest in collaboration with ministries, branches and localities. This important event is a chance for Northwest provinces to introduce their potential, strengths, incentives and supports to investors. The Northwest looks like untapped gemstone. The conference is a chance for localities to show their enthusiasm and hospitality as well as their efforts for streamlined administrative procedures with connection to investment and business activities. This is also a place for officials and businesses to talk about their issues.

All three conferences on Northwest investment promotion were very successful. The event in Lao Cai province in 2008 ended with investment agreements worth more than VND40 trillion. The event in Tuyen Quang province in 2013 saw nearly 30 big projects licensed. During these events, organisations and individuals donated VND543 billion to social security, of which banks gave nearly VND455 billion. These results are very in this context of tough time.

To be held in Son La province in April 2015, the conference takes place when Vietnam deepens its integrating into the world by means of TPP Agreement and FTA with the EU. This will be a chance to introduce and promote local potential and advantages, and facilitate investors to access key projects and study incentive policies. The event is also the place for authorities, scientists and investors to meet and exchange on State management, mechanisms, policies and investment environment in order to bolster socioeconomic development in the Northwest. This is also the opportunity to commend outstanding businesses with enormous investment into the region and significant engagement in social security works.

Đăng ký: VietNam News