The northern province of Ninh Binh should introduce appropriate policies to further tap its huge potential as a tourist destination so that it will become the key tourism centre of the Red River Delta region and the country as a whole in the next three years.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh delivered this message during the Ninh Binh Investment Promotion Conference organised on Novmeber 30 in the province.

He also urged the province to continue to perfect its investment policies, foster administrative reforms and improve infrastructure facilities in order to attract more investment capital.

Improving the quality of human resources and resolving difficulties facing investors in a timely fashion are also necessary, the Deputy PM said.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh spoke highly of the provincial advantages and potentials in the tourism sector.

He suggested the provincial authorities draw up an effective development scheme for the sector to ensure it grows sustainably, and concentrate on improving the quality of human resources for the sector.

"We invite and are ready to cooperate with all investors who are interested in the potential and advantages of Ninh Binh, the land of the ancient Hoa Lu capital. We are willing to create a favourable investment environment for both domestic and foreign enterprises," said the provincial Party Committee's Secretary Bui Van Nam.

Nam added that he hoped the conference would provide a good chance for State authorities and ministries to work with domestic and foreign investors to learn about Ninh Binh' socio-economic development issues and its untapped investment opportunities, as well as to propose measures for sustainable development that could help the province attract maximum resources for its socio-economic development.

Over the years, Ninh Binh has gained a stable annual economic growth rate of above 10 percent, especially during 2006-10, when the province's GDP expanded 16.5 percent per year, according to the provincial People's Committee chairman Bui Van Thang. The province has since developed its industry and tourism sectors and created a sound economic structure, Thang said, adding that the ratio of industry-construction accounts for 49 per cent of the provincial GDP while agro-forestry-fishery makes up 15 percent and the service sector contributes 36 percent.

During the event, the province granted investment licences to seven projects with a value totalling over 9.1 trillion VND (433 million USD). These projects cover the sub-sectors of steel, seaport expansion, agriculture processing, tourism and real estate as well as hotels. Five Memorandum of Understanding agreements were made between local authorities and investors in trade promotion, beer, housing and real estate.

"Ninh Binh's large land area, convenient transport, abundant personnel resources and provincial investment incentives have persuaded our company to develop our project here" said Harima Naoki, general director of Kyoei Steel Viet Nam Co, which received a licence to build a 3.87 trillion VND (185.7 million USD) steel complex in the province the same day.

At the conference, the province also published a list of 20 projects calling for investment during the 2012-2015 period.

Nine of these are industrial production developments, eight involve agricultural and urban technical infrastructure, while the remainder are tourism and service projects.

During the first nine months of this year, the province granted licences to 14 projects including four that are receiving foreign investment and pledging about 4.22 trillion VND (202.5 million USD), according to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment's statistics.

The latest additions have brought the number of licensed projects in the province up to 451, worth a combined value of 82.18 trillion VND (4 billion USD). Of this total, 28 are foreign-invested and worth 954 million USD.

Ninh Binh has launched multiple investment incentives and has reformed administrative procedures targeting a one-stop mechanism to facilitate investors.-VNA