Local Economy

Last updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Solutions for Higher Competitiveness

Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2018

In addition to reviewing, evaluating and implementing tasks and solutions to improve the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) in recent years, Lang Son province has also conducted surveys and assessments of the Department and District Competitiveness Index (DDCI Lang Son) since 2017. These efforts are generating positive effects in administration and opening up prospects of increasing its PCI scores and rankings in the coming years. Mr Nguyen Huu Chien, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment of Lang Son province, shared about this with Vietnam Business Forum Magazine.

How do you assess the investment attraction results of Lang Son province in 2017 and in the year to date?
With the efforts of Lang Son authorities to improve the investment environment, in 2017, Lang Son province saw a good result in investment attraction. The province granted licences to 52 domestic direct investment (DDI)) projects with a combined capital of VND9,004 billion, including 34 new projects and 18 existing projects that adjusted investment certificates and three foreign direct investment (FDI) projects, including one new project and existing projects that added investment capital. To date, the province licensed 28 FDI projects with a registered capital of US$228 million. Some big projects are being implemented such as a trade centre, hotel and shophouse complex, a commodity transshipment centre and Mai Pha new urban area project. Lang Son also revoked investment certificates of 13 slow-moving projects.

However, outcomes have not matched local potential and expectations of the provincial government. Many advantageous areas remain untapped and lack investment projects. FDI projects are too small in number and scale to promote socioeconomic development. Many investors have limited capacity to carry out their projects as expected.

What do you think about the implementation process and achievements of investment administrative procedure reforms in recent years, especially after two years of carrying out Plan 68/KH-UBND dated June 15, 2016 of the Lang Son Provincial People’s Committee on public administration reform plan from 2016 to 2020?
Administrative reform is one of key tasks of all-level authorities and sectors in Lang Son province, particularly reform relating to investment. The Provincial People’s Committee has regularly inspected administrative disciplines in subordinate bodies and helped raise the sense of responsibility of public servants. The province has also actively reviewed and simplified administrative procedures to facilitate enterprises and people to deal with paperwork with authorities; deployed an inter-agency single-window software in 13 agencies to ease management, receipt of records and delivery of results to people and enterprises; develop online public service delivery at Level 3 and Level 4; and accepted sending and delivery administrative procedures via postal services. Lang Son province has adopted measures to address and raise the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), the Public Administration Reform Index (PAR Index) and the Vietnam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI). In 2017, Lang Son also started implementing DCCI Index.

Particularly in investment field, in addition to supporting communication, dissemination and enforcement of new laws such as the Law on Investment, the Law on Public Investment, the Law on Cooperatives and other relevant documents on investment and business, all legal documents and policies are posted and introduced on the website of the Provincial People's Committee ( and administrative procedures at all levels and sectors are accessible to citizens and organisations at (

Furthermore, the Department of Planning and Investment worked with relevant bodies to review, study and reduce the time required to register a business, raise the service quality of public servants, and assist enterprises in business registration certification and operation certification. The province signed a cooperation agreement with the Vietnam Post Corporation to receive records and deliver settlement results of administrative procedures via postal services to provide more favourable conditions for people and enterprises.

To date, the reform of administrative procedures concerning business startup, tax collection, insurance affairs, and conditional business certification have been reviewed and simplified to remove overlapped, complicated and unreasonable ones. The time for settling administrative procedures for business establishment is shortened to less than three days dated from the date of receipt of valid dossiers, with 90 per cent handled ahead of schedule. Investment appraisal period is within 25 days.

Lang Son province’s PCI 2017 gained 2.98 points and climbed two places in the PCI rankings, with many component indices gaining ground like regulatory institutions (1.36 points) and support services (0.8 points). What do you think about this? What solutions and plans will the province carry out to get better scores and have a higher ranking in 2018?
In 2017, the province’s PCI scored 53 points, ranked 53rd out of 63 provinces and cities, two places higher than in 2016 and ranked 9th out of 14 provinces in the northern mountainous region. The median department score reached 55.01 points, a drop of 1.28 points against PCI 2016 of the province and 3.19 points lower than PCI 2016 of the nation. The median local score was 54.14 points, a drop of 2.15 points over the province’s PCI 2016 and it was lower than the median department score and the PCI score of the province in 2016. In 2018, Lang Son province aims to actively raise all 10 PCI component indices, especially three falling indices in 2017. It targets to get 60 points of PCI or more to bring the province to the group of middle localities.

In general, PCI Lang Son slightly picked up. To give a facelift to the current investment and business environment and give a boost to PCI rankings, all-tier governments need to have consistent, concrete plans to achieve all targets. Performances will be reviewed quarterly and biannually to gauge progress. They will continue to tackle difficulties facing against enterprises and people; build new policies and perfect legal procedures; enhance dynamism and guidance of agency heads in settling affairs; foster knowledge and attitude of public servants to people and enterprises.

In 2017, Lang Son launched DDCI Lang Son Index. How do you assess this survey, particularly for a better local investment and business climate?
In 2017, Lang Son piloted DDCI Lang Son Index in 21 units, including 15 provincial departments and six districts. The survey aimed to fuel up competition and emulation in economic governance among districts, cities and departments, thus adding motivations for higher quality of administrative procedures relating to investors and enterprises; and formed a reliable, popular and transparent information channel for investors and enterprises to raise their ideas about strengthening local authorities and departments.

On February 7, 2018, the result of DDCI Lang Son 2017 was announced. Five excellent departments included the Taxation Department, the Customs Department, the Provincial Police, the Department of Planning and Investment, and the Department of Industry and Trade; seven departments were ranted good, including the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Department of Information and Communications, the Department of Justice, the Provincial Inspectorate, the Department of Transport, the State Bank of Vietnam - Lang Son Branch, and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Lowly-ranked units comprised of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the Dong Dang - Lang Son Border Economic Zone Management Board, and the Department of Construction. At the district level, Chi Lang and Huu Lung were ranked excellent; Lang Son City and Van Lang district were ranked good; and Cao Loc and Loc Binh districts were lowly-ranked.

From these results, the Provincial People’s Committee asked provincial departments, agencies and localities to look into low indicators for better outcomes in 2018. On April 3, the Provincial People’s Committee issued the Plan No. 69/KH-UBND on implementation of DDCI 2018. The programme will engage 32 units, including provincial departments and 11 districts and cities. The survey will run from August to October 2018 and the result will be announced in December 2018 or January 2019.

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