Dong Thap Province’s success story star of Fulbright Friday Talk


Mr. Le Minh Hoan, the Party chief of Dong Thap Province, was the guest of the latest issue of Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management’s (FSPPM) monthly talk show.

Held by the Alumni Association of Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM), Fulbright’s Friday Talk takes place on the final Friday afternoon of each month and features outstanding politicians and experts. The talk series aims to offer FSPPM students and alumni insights on current events and relevant policy information, to share their learning and work experiences and discuss the soft skills needed for public policy scholars.

Mr. Le Minh Hoan

This July, Fulbright’s Friday Talk focused on the incredible success story of Dong Thap Province. Situated in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region, the province gained recent recognition for its administrative reforms, turning an agriculture-based province with less favorable natural conditions into a consistent top performer in several listings, such as Vietnam’s Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) and the Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI).

The PCI is designed to assess and rank the performance, capacity, and willingness of provincial governments to develop business-friendly regulatory environments for private sector development. Among the top five PCI performers of the country, Dong Thap is the only one to remain in the list for 12 consecutive years.

The lessons shared during the talk drew the attention of the broader public policy community and anyone interested in improving management by local authorities, thus building a better country through more efficient public services and provincial governance. Furthermore, the underpinning causes for its policy breakthroughs also function as a perfect case study for FSPPM students to discuss in their essays and theses. The two-hour talk saw the students and the broader public satisfying their curiosity with a presentation, followed by a constructive and impassioned debate session.

Secretary Le Minh Hoan is also known as Xich Lo, author of incisive articles in many newspapers.

Mr. Le Minh Hoan first briefed participants on Dong Thap’s relentless efforts, transforming yesterday’s poor and challenging agricultural landscape to today’s thriving economy. Among other projects, Dong Thap recently grabbed headlines for its effective business initiatives, such as establishing farmer cooperatives and opening coffee shops where provincial entrepreneurs can meet with provincial leaders to discuss the difficulties they are facing. Mr. Hoan provided a detailed presentation on how these initiatives were implemented, and how they represent a key component of Dong Thap’s current success.

After his presentation, Fulbright’s Master in Public Policy (MPP) students seized the opportunity to raise questions, holding a heated discussion on varied topics, from policy implementation, to social and economic issues, preservation of local cultures, and more.

Mr. Le Minh Hoan together with FSPPM students

As a provincial leader with a simple lifestyle, Mr. Hoan is known for his sharp insights in articles he publishes under the pseudonym Xich Lo. As his pseudonym, the policymaker gives frequent in-depth analysis of Dong Thap’s current issues and shares findings other cities and provinces can benefit from. Although detailed, his writing style prioritizes clarity so as to keep his analysis accessible to a large audience.

Mr. Hoan was voted among the top 10 actors of Vietnam’s economy in 2017 by online news site The ranking came as no surprise to the people of Dong Thap, which they attribute to his diligent and lasting efforts in improving the governance of the province. Although Mr. Hoan does not take that ranking too seriously, the recognition has profoundly inspired Dong Thap’s business community and aspiring entrepreneurs to start up their ventures.

Friday Talk will continue with the participation of guests from both public and private sectors.

Xuan Huy

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