More Reform, Policies Needed to Attract Investment and Help Businesses Survive Post-Pandemic

11:07:50 AM | 15/4/2021

“Authorities at all levels will develop and implement policies to support the creation of more favorable conditions for businesses to survive the post-Covid-19 pandemic period,” recommended Mr. Bradley Bessire, USAID/Vietnam Acting Mission Director, when asked about the impact of the pandemic on businesses reflected in the PCI report 2020. Lan Anh reports.

How do you evaluate this year’s report and how is the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Vietnamese businesses reflected in the report?

As noted in the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2020 report, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on businesses in Vietnam, with 87% of surveyed firms significantly affected. The Covid-19 pandemic has made it difficult for businesses to retain customers, employ workers, and has disrupted supply chains, resulting in additional costs for businesses.

2021 is anticipated to remain a tough year for businesses. We would like to recommend and hope that authorities at all levels will develop and implement policies to support the creation of more favorable conditions for businesses to survive the post-Covid-19 period, especially in the area of innovation, and training for higher quality human resources, to be ready for more aggressive competition.

In your opinion, how has the private business community benefited from the report’s insights over the years?

We can see that the Provincial Competitiveness Index has been a highly effective reform initiative in Vietnam. To date, more than 150,000 domestic and foreign-invested firms have participated in PCI surveys since the inauguration of the survey. Annual PCI reports are an outlet conveying the collective voice of firms, big and small, to governments at all levels on areas that are important to business development, even sensitive areas such as informal charges and transparency.

From insights and recommendations from the annual PCI reports, provincial governments have taken reforms seriously and simplified administrative procedures in order to help enterprises save time and money. 

Do you think the report supports provinces to attract investments?

The Provincial Competitiveness Index reports have become a useful tool for local governments to help evaluate the quality of economic governance in order to improve the business environment and promote investment into the province. The information and recommendations given in the report help provincial governments evaluate the obstacles reported by enterprises and make appropriate reforms to respond to businesses’ needs and attract investment.

Besides PCI, what are other areas of cooperation between USAID and VCCI to elevate the voice of the private sector to support Vietnam’s reforms?

Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (or VCCI) and USAID have been partners for nearly two decades. USAID appreciates VCCI's leadership in enhancing the voice of the private sector in engagement with policymakers to drive reforms critical to economic development in Vietnam. Since 2019, USAID and VCCI have worked together to channel feedback from the private sector into the promulgation of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) law, regulatory framework, and implementation of the National PPP Committee established by the Prime Minister and operated by VCCI. USAID looks forward to working with VCCI to raise its capacity to develop the Provincial Competitiveness Index's sustainability and expand the opportunity for Public-Private Partnerships to deliver much-needed investment into Vietnam’s public infrastructure base.

Thank you very much!