05/04/2015 10:50 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Northwest region looks to optimise potentials, attract investment

Son La, April 4 (VNA) – Utilising potential and advantages and attracting more domestic and foreign economic resources are among targets set by the northwestern region for its robust growth, announced the Steering Committee for the Northwest Region during an investment promotion conference in Son La province of April 4.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who heads the Committee, pointed out positive socio-economic changes in the region recently, with GDP growth rate averaging around 9.5 percent and per capita GDP reaching 24.7 million VND (1,160 USD) over the last five years.

State budget collected nearly 26 trillion VND in 2014, a rise of 30 percent over a year ago. Meanwhile, poverty rate lowered to 18.2 percent, he noted.

Administrative reforms have also been sped up to attract and optimise investments and assistances, he said.

The northwestern region consists 12 mountainous and midland localities of Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Son La, Phu Tho, Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Bac Kan, Hoa Binh, Lang Son and Cao Bang, as well as western districts of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces.

The region, having a long border with Laos and China , also plays an important role in national security-defence and foreign relations.

Director of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency Do Nhat Hoang said there were a few sizable foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in the northwest. Currently, there were 106 FDI projects in operation, with a total registered capital of 1.73 billion USD.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Van Trung confirmed that the Government was making significant efforts to support the region. Last year, about 15.5 trillion VND (738.10 million USD) from the State budget, or 12.5 percent of the amount extracted for national development, was reserved for the northwest.

In 2013, the Government also adopted a master plan for socio-economic development of the northern mountainous area by 2020. The plan set a GDP growth target of over 8 percent, and a GDP per capita goal of about 2,000 USD.

Deputy PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged the region to actively improve the investment environment to secure both domestic and international finances.

Well-developed infrastructure and human resources would be vital for any development breakthroughs, and localities must collaborate to achieve these general goals, he emphasised.

Steering Committee deputy head Truong Xuan Cu said the region was now focused on calling for investments in mineral exploitation, forest product processing, border gate economic activities, and tourism.

He said many provinces have joined hands in building tours and this has helped them promote their advantages and the mountainous villagers reduce poverty. Localities have also fostered links in education and vocational training by connecting with universities.

In the northwest, Lao Cai attracted the most investment capital with 875 million USD, closely followed by Hoa Binh with 435.4 million USD, and Son La with 280 million USD, according to the MPI Foreign Investment Agency.

The Son La conference attracted more than 500 participants, including policymakers, entrepreneurs, trade representatives and diplomats.

On the occasion, commercial banks and investors signed credit support contracts totaling 4.7 trillion VND (218.6 million USD) for 12 projects, mainly on mining, hydro-power generation, processing industry, transportation and farm produce.
VNA/VNP