Northern Ha Giang province needs to improve its investment environment and protect the appropriate rights of investors, to attract more investment projects, said Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Speaking at the investment promotion conference, which aimed to provide a platform for domestic and foreign enterprises to explore local policies, potential and opportunities, held in the province late last week, Phuc stated that the province's difficulties in luring foreign investment included poor transport infrastructure and human resource quality, low competitiveness and a high poverty rate of 27 percent.

However, he emphasised that the province has great tourism potential with its favourable climate and soil, natural beauty and diverse cultures, alongside other agricultural strengths such as medicinal plants, clean-water fisheries and livestock.

He proposed that the province should continue to finalise its socio-economic development planning, boost administrative reform, increase the effectiveness and efficiency of state management and improve the investment environment.

"The province also should pay more attention in comprehensively developing human resources through efficient policies on education, healthcare and culture, moving towards sustainable poverty alleviation," he added.

The deputy PM asked the ministries and agencies to support the province in promoting its infrastructure upgradation, poverty reduction projects, preservation of unique ethnic cultures and rapid and sustainable socio-economic development.

Chairman of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vu Tien Loc agreed, adding that the province has been ranking low in the Provincial Competitiveness Index for years. Last year, the rank was 48 out of 63 provinces and cities.

Loc noted that the province should have solutions to accelerate administrative reforms as well as business environment.

He suggested the province to build tourism development strategy, which will focus on Dong Van Rock Plateau and connect with other provinces in the north-west region.

He said Ha Giang should also fully tap into its agricultural potential while recommending that the province focus on improving provincial-level competitiveness and connect its socio-economic development plan with that of the north-western region, he noted.

Nguyen Van Son, provincial People's Committee vice chairman, noted that the province has always prioritised resources for mobilising investment and will continue to boost administrative procedure reform in investment activities and the timely removal of problems faced by investors.

Son claimed that the province has set up investment promotion counselling centres and an Official Development Assistance (ODA) mobilisation board, responsible for attracting ODA from NGOs. It has also introduced a number of incentives on land use, water and power supplies, while simplifying administrative procedures.

At the conference, the provincial People's Committee granted licences to 9 projects, with a total registered capital of 3.6 trillion VND (169.2 million USD).

The committee also signed six memorandum of understanding on cooperation and investment with businesses.-VNA