Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh,Quang Ninh

Pham Minh Chinh has taken office as the new Prime Minister of Vietnam

VietNamNet talks with Tran Dinh Thien, an economist with deep understanding about Quang Ninh, where Chinh was Party Committee Secretary and deserved credit for laying down a foundation for the province to take off.

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You are a member of the PM Advisory Council and you have witnessed the development of many localities, including Quang Ninh, which has made great strides over the last decade, especially the time when Chinh was the provincial Party Committee Secretary. And now Chinh has become Prime Minister. What do you think about Chinh’s policies?

Chinh is a man with drastic thinking and actions. In addition, as many people know, he has a rare working power. The virtues were one of the important factors that helped Quang Ninh make a breakthrough and join a new development orbit at a new height.

I am not exaggerating. The development of Quang Ninh in the last decade, starting from the time when Chinh took office as Party Committee Secretary, is convincing proof.

Chinh was a secretary of action. In principle, a Party Committee secretary plays the role of ‘giving orientations, general guidelines and instructions’ instead of organizing implementation. But I know Chinh threw himself into the practice, instructed the implementation of plans in practice and found strategic solutions from practice.

With his drastic actions and experience drawn from practice, he successfully persuaded the apparatus, both the central and local, and won Quang Ninh people’s confidence. At that time, it was not easy to get people’s confidence there.

In such conditions, Chinh made a push that led to institutional changes in the locality: creating a friendly and transparent investment environment, supporting enterprises, encouraging breakthoughs, and creating favorable conditions for investors, especially capable investors,"

Tran Dinh Thien, an economist with deep understanding about Quang Ninh

Of course, being serious and taking drastic action is not enough to create such outstanding achievements. Chinh also has two other virtues – outstanding vision and breakthrough thinking. The policy to develop Quang Ninh greatly, at an international stature on the basis of the ‘world’s leading natural heritage’, its advantages, with breakthrough and unusual solutions initiated by Chinh, originated from these virtues.

Creating a transparent environment

But I have to remind you that Quang Ninh has heaven-sent advantages – abundant reserves of coal and the world’s natural heritage – Ha Long Bay, which no other localities have.

The advantages have existed for thousands of years, but Quang Ninh still did not take off until tens of years ago. People dug coal every day and enjoyed the beauty of Ha Long Bay, but they could not get rich.

Why? This was because Quang Ninh lacked some basic resources to promote its great potential and join the orbit of modern development. The problem was that the province lacked a reasonable mechanism and necessary space to converge its resources for modern development.

In such conditions, Chinh made a push that led to institutional changes in the locality: creating a friendly and transparent investment environment, supporting enterprises, encouraging breakthoughs, and creating favorable conditions for investors, especially capable investors.

Quang Ninh, after Binh Duong, made strong commitments on supporting investors. In 2011-2015, Quang Ninh truly became the province which fulfilled the commitments it made to people and investors.

I think this is ‘Quang Ninh’s knowhow’. Not many provincies can create attractiveness to ‘Vietnamese eagles’ (big companies) and create favorable conditions for them to grow.

I had the chance to meet Chinh soon after he took office as Party Committee Secretary and exchanged views on Quang Ninh development. Therefore, I think I could understand his thoughts.

Chinh said Quang Ninh is a ‘miniature of Vietnam’ and he decided to shift from ‘brown’ to ‘green’ development when drawing up the province’s development strategy. This was a development vision and aspiration for strong growth, not only for Quang Ninh.

 

Attracting ‘domestic eagles’

You have just mentioned ‘Vietnamese eagles’ (eagle is the word used by Vietnam when talking about big investors). A decade ago, the legal framework was still not perfect enough, but eagles still came. What does Quang Ninh have now to prepare the ‘nests’ for eagles?

Quang Ninh, when Chinh was Party Committee Secretary, did very well in implementing the strategy of ‘developing public investment to lead private investment’.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh,Quang Ninh

Van Don Airport

The most impressive project is the highway that links Ha Long and Hai Phong, thus making Ha Long nearer to Cat Bi Airport and connects with the 5B Hai Phong – Hanoi highway. Chinh was the author of the initiative and the person who came forward to organize the implementation.

In order to build the highway at that time, Quang Ninh had to struggle with the old way of thinking. The province successfully dealt with conflicts of interest and big difficulties in capital arrangement.

The highway also gave a driving force for Hai Phong development, and helped improve the traffic scarcity on Highway 5B which consumed a lot of money of the State. This is one of the roads as part of the ‘nest’ for ‘eagles’.

However, developing transport infrastructure is not enough. Quang Ninh also applied other comprehensive measures to lure investors. The province soon built a public administration center, and began apparatus restructuring by organizing exams to select leaders for local departments. These are the initiatives with ‘Pham Minh Chinh’s hallmarks’ which makes the apparatus operate in a transparent way, thus helping create an open environment for businesses.

Chinh believes that in order to attract good businesses to Quang Ninh, it is necessary to prepare good human resources. To do this, it needs to both build high-quality training establishments and attract talents from other localities.

Quang Ninh pursues comprehensive solutions to prepare nests for eagles, but it doesn’t just apply some single measures, such as building industrial zones or roads.

Quang Ninh once refused foreign capital when building infrastructure items. It also focuses on attracting ‘domestic eagles’. What do you think about this approach to development?

Quang Ninh has changed its face in the last 10 years thanks to ‘Vietnamese eagles’. The province, together with Da Nang, Phu Quoc and Nha Trang, proves the capability of Vietnamese enterprises, which can solve the problems of the country.

Quang Ninh’s model provides convincing proof to show the ability of Vietnamese private economic groups acting as ‘pillars of development’. The viewpoint is shown in the documents of the 13th Party Congress.

Experience shows that one nation can become an economic power thanks to its ‘eagles’, not foreign economic groups.

Do you think that Chinh will use the experience he got in Quang Ninh during his tenure as Prime Minister?

Yes, I think the experience will be useful, though a province and a country are quite different. 

Tu Giang - Lan Anh

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