Thai Nguyen brews recipe for success

September 09, 2019 | 10:00
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The northern province of Thai Nguyen province has garnered impressive results in investment attraction and development, leveraging the drastic and effective policies of local government.
thai nguyen brews recipe for success
The Samsung Vietnam Complex has helped invigorate the prospects of Thai Nguyen, Photo: Le Toan

At a recent working session with the management authorities of the province, Choi Joo Ho, CEO of the Samsung Vietnam Complex, appreciated the local support that underpins the firm’s effective operations.

Ho also spoke about the intention of Samsung Electronics Vietnam’s parent company to scale up investment in Thai Nguyen-based facilities serving a new handset model slated to begin production in the province next year. He expected to receive approval for their new investment before September 10 with support from Thai Nguyen to speed up the legal setup process.

As of now, Thai Nguyen is home to 132 valid foreign-invested projects, and is taking the lead in foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction among northern highland areas. Samsung alone has raked in about $24 billion in export value annually, providing jobs to over 70,000 labourers from Thai Nguyen and neighbouring provinces. Leveraging spillover effects from the global tech giant and a slew of satellite foreign-invested businesses that supply components to feed Samsung’s vast production needs, between 2012 and 2017, FDI attraction in Thai Nguyen jumped six-fold in the number of projects and 70-fold in investment value compared to the whole 1993-2012 period.

Based on the Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) 2018, Thai Nguyen came 12th out of 63 provinces and municipalities with a total score of 45.66, carving a spot among the best performers nationwide, moving up five notches compared to 2017 with high scores in citizen participation at local levels; transparency in decision-making; vertical accountability towards citizens; public administrative procedures, and e-governance efficiency.

At the conference assessing and PAPI 2018 results and implementing measures for index improvements in the upcoming years by Thai Nguyen People’s Committee in early July, experts from the Centre for Community Support Development Studies under the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Association pointed out limitations in each sub-dimension constituent in Thai Nguyen’s PAPI. Evaluating objective and subjective reasons, they then proposed explicit remedies in order to ensure effective implementation of the measures for improving public service quality, and satisfying people’s growing demands.

According to the Thai Nguyen Department of Planning and Investment’s latest statistics, since the province’s major investment promotion conference in July 2018, the province courted 62 projects of 44 investors worth VND115.67 trillion ($5.02 billion) in total committed investment value. Of them, 16 projects are engaged in industry, three on agriculture, 15 on trade, tourism, and culture fields, and 19 on transport and urban infrastructure, among others. To facilitate the projects’ pace, Thai Nguyen has taken a raft of measures, such as establishing a taskforce to support investors in tackling investment and administrative procedures, and guiding investors in reviewing administrative procedures to ensure the projects are executed under the realm of existing laws.

According to Hoang Thai Cuong, director of Thai Nguyen Department of Planning and Investment, radical improvements have been noticed in foreign investment attraction in the province as more powerful domestic and foreign firms made forays in recent years, such as Samsung, Vingroup, T&T, and FLC Masan, to name but a few.

Total investment value in the province amounted to VND113.5 trillion ($4.93 billion) last year, equal to 155 per cent compared to 2017.

Local government’s drastic measures, and strenuous efforts on the part of people and businesses, have entailed high and stable development for Thai Nguyen. Accordingly, the province’s average gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth surpassed 13 per cent annually during 2016-2018, and exceeded 8 per cent alone in the first half of this year. Per capita GRDP averaged VND77.7 million ($3,380) per year. Industry has seen phenomenal growth, rising an average 21 per cent annually in total industrial production value and 16.3 per cent in the export value during 2016-2018. Budget revenue last year came to VND15.02 trillion ($653 million), nearly double 2015’s figure.

Thai Nguyen is home to over 7,000 domestic businesses with the total investment value of nearly VND86 trillion ($3.73 billion) and 132 foreign-invested projects registered at nearly $7.7 billion, many of them are on a major scale and with huge impacts on provincial development, both socially and economically.

By Dinh Thuy

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