Haiphong creating space to spur exciting developments

May 06, 2024 | 09:00
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Haiphong is promoting administrative procedure reforms and shortening the time to settle procedures to best serve investors and create solid foundations to propel development.

Nguyen Ngoc Tu, director of Haiphong Department of Planning and Investment, noted that the city’s appeal in recent years was partly attributable to the fact that Haiphong has maintained good provincial competitiveness index (PCI) rankings.

It has continuously carved a spot in the top 10 localities in Vietnam in the PCI tally in the past five years. From ranking 10th out of all localities nationwide in 2019, moving up six places compared to 2018, Haiphong reached third in the tally in 2022.

“It is no coincidence that Haiphong’s PCI index has always been among the top in the country, yet it is the offspring of concerted efforts,” Tu said. “We have advised the municipal People’s Committee to issue the Department and District Competitiveness Index (DDCI), which is the extended arm of PCI. Improving competitiveness has been made the responsibility of each department and each district.”

Haiphong creating space to spur exciting developments
A consistent strategy is a must for the city to improve its investment environment, Photo: Thanh Tan

After four years of implementation, the quality of governance at all levels has changed remarkably. Specifically, the average score of departments and local areas has increased steadily. In 2023, Haiphong Department of Culture and Sports took the lead with 80.98 points, with the Department of Planning and Investment ranking second with 79.14 points.

For districts, Hong Bang took the lead with 92.59 points, and Thuy Nguyen came second counting 89.9 points.

Haiphong is among the few central cities having engaged in carrying out DDCI assessment. This is deemed a factor that helps the city’s PCI ranking eye the lowest decrease margin, continuing to grab the top score and ranking among the five central cities.

In 2023, Haiphong began implementing a model relevant to tackling conditional business licence procedures to bring more convenience to businesses and investors.

The city has innovated forms of business support, enabling firms to submit valid documents when carrying out administrative procedures, simplifying paperwork, and promoting the use of public postal services, along with maximising the application of digital technology in solving tasks.

This model aims to create more convenience for businesses and investors when expediting procedures for granting conditional business licences at local departments and district-level people’s committees.

Haiphong Department of Planning and Investment has been guiding investors to trace information in the system, as well as using an AI system to reply to investors about relevant procedures. In addition, the department hosts a one-stop service counter responsible for handling investors’ needs, helping to create a transparent investment environment, and eliminating unnecessary procedures.

With specific and drastic instructions from city leaders, Haiphong has made it into the list of leading localities nationwide in foreign direct investment attraction into industrial production.

Haiphong creating space to spur exciting developments

The city’s investment flow has improved both quantitatively and qualitatively, embracing a raft of capital-intensive and high-tech projects enshrined in the global product chains of large multinational corporations. That is attested through the fact that businesses under South Korean tech giant LG Group have continuously injected capital for production and business expansion with a combined investment value approximating $10 billion currently.

Last September Ecovance Co., Ltd, belonging to telecom giant SK Group, received an investment certificate valued at $500 million to implement its high-tech biodegradable materials factory project in Haiphong.

At the same time, Kyocera Group, one of Japan’s major office equipment manufacturers, was approved to increase its investment capital by $238 million, bringing its total investment value in Haiphong to $418 million.

“Through our projects over the past nine years, LG Group and Haiphong city have formed close bonds, jointly experiencing ups and downs and growing together. The city’s management bodies at all levels have made concerted efforts to support investors. Haiphong has become a deserving place to invest,” said Suk Myung Su, general director of LG Display Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Yun Yeung Joon, deputy CEO of LG Innotek Vietnam Haiphong, said that the surging investment volume by businesses in the city was driven by the enthusiastic support of local authorities to help quicken the investment settlement process.

“LG Innotek’s recent capital injection of more than $1 billion shows that administrative procedures have been handled quickly and efficiently to meet the group’s requirements,” said Joon.

In 2024, Haiphong aims to reach a regional GDP growth in the 11.5-12 per cent range, mobilise $8.75 billion in investment, and entice $2-2.5 billion of overseas funding volume. To achieve these goals, the city has determined to continue improving the local investment environment and maintaining the city’s PCI ranking in the top three localities in the country.

Nguyen Van Tung, Chairman of Haiphong People’s Committee, noted that improving the investment and business environment must be done continuously and persistently, which requires drastic involvement of the entire political system.

“It is a must for the leaders to have an innovative mindset, operate flexibly and creatively, not being satisfied with existing achievements,” Tung said. “Those of all levels and sectors need to proactively come up with fresh initiatives for business support, particularly building new support models for granting conditional business licences, and putting into operation online public services and online payments.”

To maintain reform momentum in the forthcoming time, Haiphong has identified six key tasks, in which the city continues to embrace DDCI assessment because of its strong role and impact on the score and ranking of the PCI index.

“Haiphong will constitute a modern-oriented, more open and friendly government, aiming to become a place with the most favourable business environment and a desired destination of all domestic and foreign investors,” Chairman Tung added. “The city leaders will always support and accompany businesses, ensuring a safe, secure, and mutually beneficial investment environment.”

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By Pham Thanh

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