A new Tien Giang is ready to steam ahead and spur growth across the Mekong Delta, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told an investment promotion conference in the province on Thursday.
The event was attended by Government officials, leaders of southern provinces, foreign diplomats, and more than 500 local and international business executives.
Phuc hailed the province for its careful preparation for the conference and having the list of approved projects ready for immediate implementation.
He said the province was located at the intersection of the south-eastern and south-western region, connecting HCM City with the rest of the delta.
Thanks to this geographical advantage, Tien Giang can attract investment in a wide range of sectors from agriculture and industry to tourism and services, he said.
“In the past, mention of Tien Giang would evoke a place with beautiful scenery. But on this visit I believe it is a strategic and favourable place for economic growth, not just for the province itself, but also for other places in the delta.”
He said his comments are borne out by history, which shows My Tho, the city of Tien Giang, used to be the biggest trading hub of the south in the 17th century.
The province should work hard to revive its golden era, he exhorted.
If the Mekong delta is dubbed Viet Nam’s fruit kingdom, Tien Giang should be called “the kingdom of the fruit kingdom” since it has so many fruit brands such as Lo Ren Vinh Kim star apple, Hoa Loc mango and Tan Phuoc pineapple, he said.
It is up to the province’s leadership and enterprises to make it possible for Tien Giang to acquire geographical indications for fruits in the country and Southeast Asia, he said.
The province has 73,000ha of orchards, the largest in the country, which yield around 1.4 million tonnes of fruits a year.
Besides hailing local authorities’ efforts to help enterprises overcome difficulties and achieve socio-economic growth, the PM also instructed them to promptly address issues that could hinder development, such as speeding up land acquisition for businesses.
The Government would always assist the province with infrastructure development to help it achieve its socio-economic targets and guarantee that the legal rights of enterprises and investors in the province are protected, he added.
Le Van Huong, chairman of the province People’s Committee, said the aim of the event was for the provincial leaders to listen to business executives and tell them about investment opportunities.
“Enterprises and investors are always our partners and we will create all favourable conditions for them to grow.”
One of the province’s efforts to cut red tape has been to reduce the time taken for issuing approvals from 35 days to 20 days for projects outside industrial parks, and to only nine days inside parks, he said.
Tien Giang has four industrial parks with over 1,101ha, which have attracted total investment of nearly VND6 trillion (US$260 million).
It also has four industrial clusters - An Thanh 1, Trung An, Tan My Chanh, and Song Thuan.
The parks and clusters have created jobs for more than 100,000 workers.
Huong said only one industrial park is fully occupied, and there is still a significant area of land available to investors.
The province’s industrial sector has grown at an average of 17 per cent a year in recent years. Industrial production is worth VND88.47 trillion ($3.8 billion) annually.
At the event, the province solicited investments of nearly VND16.4 trillion ($713 million) in 19 projects, two in industry, three in agriculture, five in trading and services, eight in infrastructure, and one in amusement.
It promised priority to projects that help build value chains for key local products.
It also issued in-principle approval for 22 projects and approval for feasibility studies for nine others involving total investments of around VND16.2 trillion ($700 million).
An exhibition on the province’s socio-economic achievements and key local products held on the sidelines of the conference ends on Friday.
Another investment promotion conference kicks off on the same day in Can Tho City in the Mekong Delta.
The city is expected to solicit investment of VND124 trillion ($5.4 billion) in 54 projects at the conference. — VNS