The northern province of Quang Ninh has been leading the PCI rankings for the past four years. (Photo: PCI Vietnam)
NDO – Quang Ninh, Long An and Binh Duong secured the top 3 places in the 2020 Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) rankings, announced by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on April 15.
Specially, with a PCI score of 75.09 in 2020, Quang Ninh took the lead in the PCI rankings for 2020, marking the fourth consecutive year the northern province has been on the top.
Quang Ninh is also the only province out of a total of 63 provinces and cities nationwide that has surpassed the 75-point benchmark in the PCI reports since 2010.
According to the 2020 PCI report, the reason Quang Ninh maintained its position as “frontrunner” in the PCI rankings is due to the province's special efforts in 2020, when the provincial government focused on business supports to overcome the difficulties and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
From the beginning of the year, the People's Committee of Quang Ninh Province asked local authorities for quick and flexible responses to improve businesses’ resilience amid the negative impacts of the epidemic, of which, focusing on clearly identifying affected sectors and fields such as tourism, agriculture and exports and then promptly applying supportive measures to remove difficulties for investors and businesses, along with other measures supporting them to restructure repayments, access to loans, seek new export markets and partners, and develop their brands.
With a score of 72.8, Dong Thap is second in the 2020 PCI rankings, followed by Long An (70.37), Binh Duong (70.16), Da Nang (70.12), Vinh Long (69.34), Hai Phong (69.27), Ben Tre (69.08), Hanoi (66.93) and Bac Ninh (66.74).
Binh Duong saw the biggest improvement, climbing from 13th place with 67.38 points in the 2019 PCI rankings to 4th in 2020 list, up 2.78 points.
According to the VCCI's assessment, this is the result of Binh Duong's review and completion of a one-stop shop mechanism for enterprise registration and the settlement of investment procedures, while implementing publicly and transparently mechanisms, policies, processes and administrative procedures for enterprise and investment registration as well as strengthening coordination among sectors in attracting and managing investment, and creating favourable conditions and problem solving so that projects could be quickly deployed.
Introduced in 2005, the PCI is designed to assess the ease of doing business, the efficacy of economic governance and administrative reform efforts by provincial governments in Vietnam in terms of private sector development.
The 2020 PCI report was developed using responses from approximately 12,300 firms, including 10,700 domestic private businesses operating in 63 provinces and municipalities, and nearly 1,600 foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) operating in 22 provinces in Vietnam.
The 2020 PCI findings showed provincial economic governance has maintained its trend of improvement over time. The most notable improvements included a decline in informal charges, well maintained security and order, improved proactivity of provincial leadership, positive results in administrative reform, and a less skewed business landscape.
The 2020 PCI-FDI demonstrates that FIEs still consider Vietnam as an attractive investment destination, listing stable political institutions, improving regulatory and inspection burdens, and anticorruption achievements as Vietnam’s current competitive edge.
As business performance across sectors and regions was severely hit by COVID-19, significant declines in sales revenue and profitability were reported. There were lay-offs across a multiplicity of business operations. Government relief policies had uneven effects, amongst which the utility of tax relief supports such as extensions of tax payment and land rents were highly lauded. The survey also found that firms in Vietnam have become more resilient during the crisis.
Developed and introduced in 2005, the PCI is comprised of 10 sub-indices: entry costs, land access and tenure, transparency, time costs, informal charges, provincial leadership proactivity, policy bias, business support services, labour policy, and law and order.
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