HCM City trying to improve investment environment but has miles to go

Thursday, Dec 23, 2021 08:21

A view of HCM City. The city was in 14th place in the provincial competitiveness index in 2020 and 2019 after slipping from 10th in 2018. — Photo vneconomy

HCM City has taken a number of measures to improve its investment environment so that it can improve its ranking in the provincial competitiveness index, but the effort has not yielded results yet.

The city was in 14th place in 2020 and 2019 after slipping from 10th in 2018.

Associate Professor Tran Hoang Ngan, rector of the HCM City Institute for Development Studies, said in 2021 the city made major efforts to improve the investment environment.

But a survey by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) found that many criteria are yet to be achieved, and the city’s PCI is still low compared to other localities.

Dau Anh Tuan, director general of the VCCI’s legal department, said problems still plague investment, construction, land, taxation, and social insurance. Besides, administrative procedures and information related to business activities are not transparent enough.

City leaders, refusing to countenance the low competitiveness, decided to crack down: Now, if an agency does not reply in writing to a business within 15 working days, it is liable for possible damages.

Ngan said they should look at how to reduce by at least 30 per cent the time it takes to handle enterprises’ petitions from the current 10 days.

Besides, the city has decided that over 60 per cent of administrative procedures will be carried out online.

The Departments of Planning and Investment, Finance, Planning and Architecture, Construction, Natural Resources and Environment, and other such agencies should directly provide online public services and not through sub-agencies to resolve the problems faced by enterprises to improve the investment environment, it has decreed.

To foster efficiency, inspectors will audit and penalise government agencies that fail to perform well.

The People's Committee has also tasked specialised agencies like the Development Research Institute to study and make recommendations to improve efficiency.

By improving the business environment and making things easier, more transparent and fairer for investors, the city expects to enter the top five in the list by 2025.

It particularly aims to do well in the rankings for socio-economic management quality by speeding up digital transformation.

But it also has ambitious targets for online business registration and licence issuance rates, and plans to enhance the efficiency of the centre for land development to benefit investors.

It will make public all administrative procedures to make it easier for applicants, reduce processing time and generally improve the quality of public services.

The People’s Committee has instructed the Department of Planning and Investment to work with the VCCI to create benchmarks for the quality of work done by various departments and localities to improve the business environment and rise up the PCI list. — VNS

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