Kien Giang Province Boosting PCI for Sustainable Economic Development

3:27:42 PM | 10/18/2021

From the beginning of the year until now, despite COVID-19 pandemic impacts, the whole political system of Kien Giang province has made efforts to effectively carry out Resolution No. 02/NQ-CP of the Vietnamese Government on the continued implementation of major tasks and solutions for a better business environment and national competitiveness in 2021; and Plan No. 174/KH-UBND dated September 20, 2021 of the Provincial People's Committee on improving and enhancing the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI). This move also partly confirms the province’s determination for better PCI in 2021.

Positive highlights

By the end of 2020, Kien Giang's PCI scored 60.01 points, ranking No. 62 out of 63 provinces and cities nationwide and No. 12 out of 13 Mekong Delta provinces and cities. Ms. Nguyen Duy Linh Thao, Director of Kien Giang Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Center, acknowledged that the government has been very determined to improve the business and investment climate in the past time although it has not completely met the requirements of enterprises. This directly affected Kien Giang province’s PCI 2020.

To overcome these limitations and further improve the open and enabling business and investment environment to support enterprises to boost production, business, investment and development and help Kien Giang raise the PCI Index, right from the beginning of 2021, the Kien Giang Provincial People’s Committee requested agency leaders to base on their assigned functions and tasks to closely follow each and every indicator of 10 PCI component subindices to urgently and actively work out specific action plans suitable for each indicator; and clearly defined their responsibility in delivering indicators.

Regarding leadership and administration, the Provincial People's Committee issued Official Dispatch No. 870/UBND-KT dated June 23, 2021 on implementation of conclusions of the Standing Board of the Provincial Party Committee on provincial competitiveness over the past time; and Official Dispatch No. 1068/UBND-KT dated July 20, 2021 on implementation of some urgent tasks for PCI improvement to deploy and urge provincial and local agencies to execute their assigned tasks. Besides, it promulgated Decision No. 2034/QD-UBND dated August 19, 2021 on the establishment of steering committees and working groups of steering committees to raise the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), the Public Administration Reform Index (PAR Index), the Vietnam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) and the Satisfaction Index of Public Administrative Services (SIPAS). It announced Plan No. 174/KH-UBND dated September 20, 2021 on improving and enhancing PCI, PAR Index, PAPI and SIPAS of Kien Giang province.

With the drastic direction of provincial leaders and determined engagement of departments, agencies and localities, in the first nine months of 2021, carrying out solutions for a better PCI Index, Kien Giang province achieved positive performance of each component index. Specifically for the Market Entry Cost Subindex, the Department of Planning and Investment regularly reviewed and simplified administrative procedures relating to business registration and investment registration, effectively implemented the single-window for handling administrative procedures relating to enterprise registration, reduced the time for handling business establishment procedures to 1.5 days and granting revised business registration certificate to less than one day. As a result, in the first eight months of 2021, the province had 927 new companies, up 5% in companies and 55% in registered capital over the same period of last year.

For the Land Access Index, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment promptly directed solutions to emerging difficulties relating to administrative procedures for land, land acquisition and site clearance, especially monitoring and checking behaviors of officials towards people and businesses so as to prevent any harassment. The department has not detected any violations or received reports from the business community since the beginning of the year.

Regarding the dynamism and leadership of the provincial government, by the end of the third quarter of 2021, according to surveys and assessments, basic limitations were already addressed. The compliance with policies and directions of the Provincial People's Committee, the Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons of the Provincial People's Committee were seriously performed by departments, agencies and localities which actively handled and removed difficulties and created favorable conditions for businesses. The Provincial People's Committee directed the Kien Giang Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Center to work with relevant authorities, agencies and business associations to collect opinions and recommendations from the business community. In the year to date, the center gathered 61 opinions and recommendations from local enterprises. The Provincial People's Committee planned to host a business dialogue conference at an appropriate time after the COVID-19 pandemic is contained to provide guidance for businesses in the new normal.

As for the Business Support Services Index, provincial departments, agencies and localities continued to implement Decision No. 1875/QD-UBND dated August 12, 2020 on Kien Giang SME Support Project to 2025 and Plan No. 178/KH-UBND dated November 13, 2020 on implementation of this project in 2021. The Department of Industry and Trade effectively performed its tasks such as surveying and monitoring business difficulties to promptly support or advise competent authorities on solutions. It facilitated enterprises to boost up industrial development and ensured electricity supply for production. In addition, the agency introduced policies; helped local enterprises boost sales of local potential products, supported connecting buyers and sellers of typical OCOP products and rural industrial products; and opened a hotline to exchange information on market prices of essential commodities.

The Kien Giang Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Center cooperated with domestic and foreign trade offices, trade promotion agencies and business associations to organize or participate in trade events with foreign partners, mainly online, to introduce information about local potential products and connect businesses from other countries. It also took part in foreign trade networking events hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ernst and Young and ASEAN. The center also coordinated with Vietrade, the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency (IDEA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, business associations to bring typical exports, agricultural products, OCOP products and agricultural industrial products to distribution and retail networks nationwide and on e-commerce platforms; supported selling 60 local agricultural and aquatic products into the supermarket system in the province.

In addition, other component indexes such as access to land; transparency and access to information; time cost for fulfilling legal regulations; informal charges; fair competition; labor training; and legal institutions and security and order also picked up and gained recognition and appreciation of the business community and investors.

Ongoing reforms for businesses

Ms. Nguyen Duy Linh Thao said that Kien Giang province will continue to focus on overcoming difficulties relating to component indices; further improve the investment and business environment, and enhance local competitiveness from now until the end of the year. The province will continue to improve the quality of management and administration, strengthen administrative reform, enhance mechanisms and policies and publicize legal information in order to build an open, attractive and transparent business and investment environment to entice investment flows for business development. The province will strive to uplift Kien Giang's PCI Index in 2021 to lift up its rankings to the Good category.

To realize these targets, on September 20, 2021, the Provincial People's Committee issued Plan No. 174/KH-UBND on improving and enhancing the PCI Index. Accordingly, in order to achieve this, it introduced a specific and clear assignment and required agency leaders and chairs of district-level People's Committees and relevant agencies to have the high political determination to raise awareness of PCI importance of the business community to local economic development management so as to effectively carry out assigned tasks in Notice No. 384/TB-VP dated June 4, 2021 of the Office of the Provincial People's Committee on conclusions of Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee Lam Minh Thanh to the PCI Index 2020 Online Conference and Official Dispatch No. 870/UBND-KT dated June 23, 2021 of the Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee on implementation of conclusions of the Standing Board of the Provincial Party Committee on provincial competitiveness.

The province advocates strictly reviewing official direction and administration to clearly identify what has been done, what has not been done and the responsibility of agency leaders. Thus, Kien Giang applies forms of handling violations or rearranges irresponsible and underperforming officials. The locality regularly monitors, assesses, cares for and nurtures a contingent of young, capable, qualified, ethical and enthusiastic cadres, civil servants and public employees in performing their official duties.

The Provincial People's Committee established a steering committee responsible for improving and enhancing the PCI Index and working groups in charge of 10 component subindices. It also strengthened inspection and examination of official duties at provincial and local administrative bodies, especially public employees who are directly working with people and businesses handling administrative procedures. It suggested the Kien Giang Business Association further promote its role as a bridge between enterprises and authorities at all levels to work out solutions to emerging business difficulties; coordinate with agencies and local authorities to disseminate the significance and importance of the PCI Index to the local business community.

Kien Giang province is determined that the PCI Index directly relates to the outcome of drawing and promoting investment, boosting local economic development in 2022-2025 and improving the business investment environment. Raising the PCI Index is one of the important solutions to ensure sustainable economic growth. In the current difficult context, when the economy needs to increase investment absorption to expand business activities, gradually push up growth momentums which have been significantly weakened by the COVID-19 pandemic, this solution becomes more important and urgent than ever. Improving the PCI Index not only expresses political determination in building an appealing business and investment environment but also helps build the image of a dynamic and dedicated Kien Giang which is always ready to support the business community and investors.

Cong Luan (Vietnam Business Forum)