A view of Quảng Ninh Province. — Photo vnexpress.net
HÀ NỘI — Quảng Ninh led all 63 provinces and cities nationwide to top the Provincial Competitive Index (PCI) for the third consecutive year in 2019.
The Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced the index in Ha Noi yesterday.
The northern coastal province added more than 3 points from its score in 2018, reaching 73.4 on a 100-point scale.
Since 2005, the PCI report has been produced annually to assess the ease of doing business, economic governance and administrative reform efforts by provincial and city governments to promote the development of the private sector.
The 15th report was based on responses from more than 12,500 enterprises, including nearly 11,000 domestic private firms from 63 provinces and cities and nearly 1,600 foreign-invested enterprises in 21 provinces.
Đồng Tháp with 72.1 points and Vĩnh Long with 71.3 points followed Quảng Ninh while the rest of the top 10 including Bắc Ninh, Đà Nẵng, Quảng Nam, Bến Tre, Long An, Hà Nội and Hải Phòng.
In a surprise, HCM City was not in the top 10.
Chairman of the People’s Committee of Quảng Ninh Province Nguyễn Văn Thắng said the province always focused on improving its index with innovation and reforms of the investment and business environment, as well as support for enterprises.
VCCI chairman Vũ Tiến Lộc said: "The index reached the highest median score in 2019, narrowing the gap in quality of management between provinces and cities in the country."
Lộc said he thought the dynamism and creativity of provincial governments had increased, while the business environment and transparency had improved in most localities last year.
“Public administration reform has been accelerated,” he added.
Up to 70-80 per cent of businesses expressed their satisfaction with the behaviour of public authorities. In the middle of 2019, when the VCCI conducted the survey for the report, more than 50 per cent of domestic and foreign enterprises said they would expand their business in the next two years.
In 2019, about 380 new businesses were established every day, the scale of registered capital increased, added Lộc who said: "The figures reflex their trust."
The report also showed procedures were troublesome. Between 53 and 59 per cent of enterprises reported difficulties in legal procedures regarding land, construction as well as investment policies.
While unofficial costs had fallen in recent years, the index found they were still high.
“There is a need for new incentives for reform from the grassroots,” Lộc said.
The chairman said the PCI 2019 reflected the business environment at the local level before the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the situation had changed, he said he believed the confidence index of the people and the business community was still positive.
As Việt Nam was one of few countries that have controlled the pandemic and is now recovering, the chairman said he thought the world after the pandemic would be different.
He said international trade and investment were reversing and the global supply chains would be relocated, adding local governments must be creative and responsible to help businesses grasp opportunities. — VNS