Northwestern provinces face challenges in improving PCI

Thursday, May 04, 2023 10:08

A stone processing plant in Yen Bai Province. The province has a specific roadmap to improve the provincial competitiveness index. — VNA/VNS Photo Tien Khanh

Northwestern localities have encountered many difficulties in improving the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) due to unfavourable geographic location, small-scale economy, large investment requirements, and a lack of competitiveness, analysts have said.

They took Dien Bien Province as an example. In the past four consecutive years, Dien Bien's PCI ranking had a deep decline from 44th place, with 64.11 points in 2019 to 62nd place, with 59.85 points in 2022. That brought the province to the group with the lowest PCI rankings in 2022.

Among the province's indicators that saw a drop in 2022 were policy bias, transparency, informal charges and labour policy.

Bui Manh Thang, deputy director of Dien Bien Department of Planning and Investment, told that it was difficult for a mountainous locality like Dien Bien to ensure and improve the PCI rankings despite efforts from local authorities.

But right after the PCI ranking results in 2022 were announced, the provincial People's Committee asked relevant departments and agencies to review and then find out effective solutions to improve its provincial competitiveness index, Thang said, adding that Dien Bien was striving to better its indicators, especially in access to land and entry costs to facilitate investors.

Similar to Dien Bien, Yen Bai Province's PCI rankings in 2022 also dropped 11 places compared to that of the previous year. Last year, the province ranked 51st out of 63 provinces and cities due to five declining indicators including access to land, time costs, informal charges, policy bias and labour policy.

However, Yen Bai had three indicators with higher rankings in 2022 including business support policy, entry costs, law and order, Doan Huu Phung, director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment told

Phung said his province had a specific roadmap to improve the provincial competitiveness index with top priority given to improving proactivity and speeding up administrative reforms, typically in investment, land, and construction.

Meanwhile, a representative from Son La Department of Planning and Investment said the province has implemented drastic solutions to improve the provincial competitiveness index over the past two years, focusing on perfecting its investment environment, accelerating administrative reform and shortening the time to handle administrative procedures in the fields related to enterprises.

Out of 63 provinces and cities, Son La stood in 49th position in the 2022 PCI rankings. That demonstrated the endless efforts of local authorities in creating the right conditions for businesses.

Bui Thuong Hiep, director of Son La based-Muong Muoi Co., agreed. He said Son La Province last year had many changes. It has created more favourable conditions for enterprises to develop and administrative procedures have been greatly shortened.

The PCI, the result of a long-standing collaborative effort between Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the US Agency for International Development, is designed to assess provincial economic governance, the ease of doing business, and administrative reform efforts by provincial governments in Viet Nam to boost private sector development.

PCI comprises ten sub-indices: entry costs, land access and tenure, transparency, time costs, informal charges, provincial leadership proactivity, policy bias, business support programmes, labour policy, and law and order.

The 2022 PCI report was developed from responses from 11,872 firms, including 10,590 domestic private businesses and 1,282 foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) operating in Viet Nam.

The report named the northern province of Quang Ninh the most competitive province in Viet Nam in 2022 with an impressive score of 72.95.

Quang Ninh has maintained its lead in the rankings for six consecutive years, thanks to its outstanding economic management quality and friendly and supportive business environment.

Bac Giang was in second place for the first time, with a score of 72.80, 8.06 higher than the previous year. Hai Phong was third with a score of 70.76, followed by Ba Ria-Vung Tau (70.26 points) and Dong Thap (69.68 points).

The remaining positions in the Top 10 PCI 2022 were Thua Thien-Hue (69.36 points); Bac Ninh (69.08); Vinh Phuc (68.91); Da Nang (68.52) and Long An (68.45). — VNS

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