Dong Thap’s policies come to fruition

July 31, 2023 | 08:30
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Dong Thap province has recorded positive achievements in terms of socioeconomic development this year so far, thanks to efforts by provincial authorities to issue effective policies to support progress.

Phan Van Thang, Standing Deputy Secretary of Dong Thap Party Committee and Chairman of the People’s Council, has said that amidst the challenging economic environment, the entire political system has joined forces to maintain stable socioeconomic development in the first six months of 2023.

The province itself has achieved positive results for many sectors with regional GDP of 5.89 per cent in the first half of 2023, up 2.06 per cent against last year’s period.

“Local authorities have played a leading role in issuing policies to support the recovery and development of production, business, innovation, and entrepreneurship,” Thang said. “There have been drastic changes in investment from the private sector thanks to a favourable business climate. Under the socioeconomic development and recovery programme, the province has promptly implemented relief measures to support employees, thereby stimulating production and business activities.”

Dong Thap’s policies come to fruition
Dong Thap People’s Committee Chairman Pham Thien Nghia (right) meets an Indian investor

In the same vein, Pham Thien Nghia, Chairman of Dong Thap People’s Committee, said that the province has identified challenges amidst the headwinds in the international market. The slowing global economy is dampening demand, which results in shrinking exports, including the province’s key export products.

“In this context, local authorities have formulated a socioeconomic development plan, focusing on 11 solutions and over 160 specific tasks, and as a result, the province has achieved positive results in 2023 so far,” Nghia said.

With a growth rate of 5.89 per cent, Dong Thap ranks sixth in the Mekong Delta region. The province is on track for recovery and stable development across three areas. Among them, the agricultural sector records the most positive growth of 5.38 per cent thanks to the high yield of winter-spring rice crops. Despite facing difficulties, the aquacultural segment still maintained good growth.

Maintaining momentum

The tourism sector, meanwhile, continues to rebound strongly. The province holds many tourism initiatives such as festivals and forums, as well as cultural and commercial events. In addition, historical sites, tourist attractions, and accommodation establishments have actively improved in quality and helped launch new tourism products.

It is estimated that Dong Thap welcomed 2.5 million tourist arrivals in the first half of 2023, up 8.99 per cent against the same period of 2022 and fulfilling 65.79 per cent of the year’s plan. Specifically, the province sets the target to generate a revenue of VND1.1 trillion ($46.47 million) from tourism, up 10.7 per cent against last year’s period and fulfilling 61.11 per cent of the year’s plan.

Elsewhere, the construction sector experiences challenges but it maintains a strong growth rate of 7.23 per cent, provincial leaders said.

Dong Thap has made great strides in improving the investment environment with the mindset of accompanying businesses, and is stepping up implementation of policies to support economic recovery. This move not only opens up more business and investment opportunities for enterprises and individuals, but also stimulates the development of the private sector, thereby contributing to regional GDP.

At present, Dong Thap has more than 5,000 businesses in operation. Despite the economic headwinds in the first half of this year, the province recorded 325 newly established businesses with a total registered capital of VND1.93 trillion ($81.5 million).

It has also actively conducted promotion activities as investors come to the locality to explore opportunities. In the first half of this year, Dong Thap has approved 10 projects worth VND6.3 trillion ($266.19 million), nearly five times the figure of last year’s period.

Commercial and service activities remain vibrant with higher purchasing power. The total retail sales of goods and services in the first half of 2023 reached VND63 trillion ($2.66 billion), an increase of 13 per cent over the same period in 2022.

Many programmes are run to connect supply and demand as well as to promote products, especially in agriculture. The province hosted the Dong Thap Mango Festival and Conference on Trade and Investment Cooperation between India and the province this year, which opened up new opportunities for agricultural products from the province and the wider Mekong Delta region.

Dong Thap’s policies come to fruition
Dong Thap leaders and an Indian delegation at the India-Dong Thap investment promotion conference

Meanwhile, socioeconomic infrastructure is also a key focus area. The province is implementing 24 key transport projects in the locality. The government and the province have accelerated the progress of Cao Lanh-An Huu expressway’s phase 1, My Thuan-Can Tho expressway, My An-Cao Lanh expressway’s phase 1, upgrading the Cao Lanh-Lo Te route, and the bypass for Highway 30 at Cao Lanh city.

Public investment is deemed the main driving force to boost economic recovery. Therefore, Dong Thap has taken concrete action to promote public investment. Thus far in 2023, the province disbursed almost half of public investment capital, up 22 per cent against last year’s period and around 23 per cent compared with the national average. Dong Thap ranks second out of all cities and provinces in terms of disbursing such capital.

The province is also focused on social security policies to improve the financial and wellbeing conditions of the local people with a growing number of employed people.

Striving towards growth goals

Dong Thap has set a goal to achieve growth of 7.5 per cent in 2023, which it remains steadfast in reaching. With that, the province laid out 13 main tasks and solutions to facilitate the goal.

In healthcare, priority has been given to addressing challenges in supplying medical equipment for health check-ups and treatment.

The province is also speeding up administrative reforms, strengthening decentralisation in handling administrative procedures, and streamlining the organisational apparatus.

Solutions have been forward to restructure the agricultural sector with a focus on digital transformation, while the province continues to support the development of One Commune, One Product items.

Accompanying businesses, Dong Thap holds regular dialogues to remove barriers for businesses. It supports enterprises and cooperatives to find a market for their products, access capital, and join e-commerce marketplaces. They also receive support to upgrade technology and equipment to innovate the production process.

In addition, Dong Thap is attempting to remove difficulties for key industrial projects and speed up the progress of projects in industrial zones and clusters to soon be completed and put into operation. Another effort is to consolidate and improve the quality of services at key tourist attractions.

This is coupled with supporting the restoration and development of community-based tourism. Dong Thap plans to hold the first Sa Dec Ornamental Flower Festival at the end of this year.

At the same time, local authorities will continue to improve the investment environment in all fields to improve its rankings in the Provincial Competitiveness Index, Public Administration Reform Index, and Public Administration Performance Index in 2023.

Nghia emphasised, “Despite many internal and external headwinds, I strongly believe that Dong Thap will join forces with the whole country to overcome the challenges to develop, achieve, and exceed the targets set by the National Assembly and our People’s Council.”

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By Truc Giang

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