Hung Yen Province: Substantial Increase in PCI Rankings

11:22:34 AM | 6/9/2022

The ranking of Hung Yen’s Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) in 2021 has increased by 14 places, ranking 39th in the country, the highest total score ever over the past 17 years. Some of its sub-indices have improved strongly.

With 63.76 points, the PCI of Hung Yen province in 2021 increased by 14 places, securing the 39th position in the national PCI ranking, approaching the group of good performers. This result has well beaten the target of Hung Yen province to reach the group of 40 best performers by 2025.

The PCI 2021 is scored on a 100-point scale from a weighted sum of ten subindices: 1)low entry costs for business start-ups; 2) easy access to land and security of business premises; 3) a transparent business environment and equitable business information; 4) minimal informal charges; 5) limited time requirements for bureaucratic procedures and inspections; 6) minimal crowding out of private activity from policy biases toward the state, foreign, or connected firms; 7) proactive and creative provincial leadership in solving problems for enterprises; 8) high-quality business support services; 9) sound labor training policies; and 10) fair and effective legal procedures for dispute resolution and maintaining law and order.

 Hung Yen province has four sub-indices increasing points and five increasing in rank compared to PCI 2020. Of which, the substantial increase is the time requirements for bureaucratic procedures and inspections, which increased by 0.22 points (from 8.24 to 8.46 points), an increase of 15 places (from level 19 to level 4 nationwide). This is an important indicator that measures the time a business has to spend to carry out administrative procedures as well as how often and how long the business has to suspend business for local State agencies to do inspection and examination. This index is also assessed through a number of criteria such as state officials handling work effectively, friendly state officials, simple procedures, and the time to complete administrative procedures. This shows that Hung Yen's administrative reform over the past years has been effective, greatly facilitating businesses.

In addition, the Labor Training Index also increased from the 33rd to 13th position, which is a strong increase in Hung Yen's index. Another indicator with significant growth is the transparent business environment and equitable business information index, up 12 places, from 5.31 points to 5.62 points; the Index of Access to Land also increased by 0.6 points, up 1 level; the Business Support Services Index increased by 0.93 points, up 5 places compared to 2020.

Hung Yen province has made many efforts to achieve its current position. A summary of VCCI's data shows that from 2015 to now, Hung Yen's PCI index has improved steadily but rather slowly. Specifically, the province scored only 55.1 points in 2015, and achieved 63.60 points in 2019. The provincial government's efforts to improve the business environment have made a positive impact and have been appreciated by the business community in the province. However, in the last five years, compared to other provinces and cities, the PCI index of Hung Yen was still around the average rank: 56th in 2015 (mid-low group), 50th in 2016 (mid-low group), 56th in 2017 (relatively low group), 58th in 2018 (mid-low group), 55th in 2019 (mid-low group), 53rd in 2020 (mid-low group).

Over the years, Hung Yen province has implemented many solutions to improve the business investment environment and enhance competitiveness. The Provincial People's Committee has promulgated the "Project on administrative reform, creating a favorable investment environment, improving the provincial competitiveness index in the period 2016 - 2020" (Decision 2382/QD-UBND dated October 28, 2016). However, it must be affirmed that the results achieved in the 2016-2020 period did not meet the set goals and expectations of the province.

In order to continue to promote the improvement of the business investment environment and enhance competitiveness in the new period, on September 7, 2021, the Provincial People's Committee issued Decision 2136/QD-UBND approving the scheme on boosting revenue, attracting investment, improving PCI of Hung Yen province in the period of 2021-2025, with a vision to 2030.

The project aims to: “strive to improve the score of each sub-index, gradually raise the PCI ranking position of the province by 2-5 places each year, by 2023 in the group of 45 best performers and by 2025 in the group of 40 best performers. The project also states many solutions and tasks such as: Departments, branches and district-level People's Committees must develop implementation plans, organize a preliminary review every 3-6 months, and organize an annual review of work. The Office of the Provincial People's Committee is responsible for monitoring the tasks assigned by the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People's Committee to departments, branches, districts, and towns, and advising the Provincial People's Committee to organize monthly meetings to evaluate the assigned tasks. Departments, branches and district-level People's Committees review administrative procedures, and problems that need to be resolved, and report to the Provincial People's Committee.

Departments, branches and localities have actively developed and implemented their plans, specifically: the Department of Information and Communications advises and promulgates the plan to improve and raise the Index of Transparency and Accessibility to Information in Hung Yen province for the period of 2021-2025, with a vision to 2030; Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs issued Plan 3734/KH-SLDTBXH on September 23, 2021.

According to Mr. Tran Quoc Van, Chairman of Hung Yen Provincial People's Committee, the low PCI ranking of the province in recent years showed that there were still shortcomings and limitations in some industries and fields and some analyses showed that the subjective cause was mainly human. In fact, some cadres and civil servants are still irresponsible, even causing harassment to people and businesses. Therefore, the Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee also issued Directive 12/CT- People's Committee dated September 23, 2021 on effective implementation of solutions; improving the sense of responsibility, spirit, attitude, and quality of public service performance of officials and civil servants.

In order to achieve the goal of entering the group of 45 best performers in the PCI ranking by 2023, making Hung Yen an attractive destination for investors, the Provincial People's Committee requires each cadre and civil servant, especially the head of an agency, and local authorities uphold the sense of responsibility, sense of self-discipline in performing official duties, clearly define duties and responsibilities for the common interests and aspiration. The province will resolutely address violations and delays in handling administrative procedures, especially in the stages of granting construction permits, making site clearance, and completing land procedures, and environmental issues.

It can be affirmed that with the desire to develop, along with the firm participation of the whole apparatus, the improvement of the business investment environment and the competitiveness of Hung Yen will have many positive and effective changes in the coming period.

Quỳnh Chi (Vietnam Business Forum)