Bac Ninh: Enhancing Investment Appeal and Green Index

4:41:13 PM | 11/1/2023

Bac Ninh Province has been consistently improving its Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) for several years. In 2022, the province secured the 7th position on the PCI rankings and 3rd in the Provincial Green Index (PGI).

Bac Ninh province has consistently improved its PCI and ranked 7th in 2022, while also achieving the 3rd position in the PGI

The PCI 2022 Report shows that Bac Ninh province achieved a score of 69.08 points and retained its position for the second year in a row (2021 and 2022). Out of the 10 sub-indices that make up the PCI, Bac Ninh province improved in six compared to 2021: Entry Cost Index increased by 0.6 points; Transparency Index increased by 0.2 points; Time Cost Index increased by 0.07 points; Policy Bias Index increased by 0.64 points; Labor Training Index increased by 0.83 points; and Legal Institutions Index increased by 0.03 points.

On the other hand, four sub-indices declined: Land Access Index decreased by 0.09 points; Informal Charges Index decreased by 0.44 points; Proactivity of Provincial Leadership Index decreased by 1.04 points; and Business Support Services Index decreased by 0.79 points. In the Red River Delta region, Bac Ninh ranked third after Quang Ninh and Hai Phong.

Over the past few years, Bac Ninh Province’s PCI improvement has been well received by businesses, especially between 2015 and 2019 when its PCI index advanced continuously. Despite a slight decline in 2020, the province still ranked 10th out of 63 provinces and cities after scoring 66.74 points.

With many innovative and creative policy mechanisms, Bac Ninh has attracted numerous investors from countries and territories with modern, advanced industrial production, such as Japan, South Korea, Europe, and the United States. Electronics is a key industry that accounts for over 80% of industrial production value.

One of the most significant improvements in Bac Ninh Province, highly appreciated by businesses, is the elimination of direct physical contact with governmental agencies in handling administrative procedures. All procedures are now settled online. Furthermore, companies can access information, process it, and report and update it to Bac Ninh leaders via the rapid business support team (transformed from the rapid response team in COVID-19 epidemic prevention).

Mr. Vuong Quoc Tuan, Standing Vice Chairman of Bac Ninh Provincial People’s Committee, stated that the PCI performance in 2022 illustrated the effort of the entire political system. Accordingly, in early 2022, Bac Ninh launched an online video conferencing system to all agencies and localities to quickly grasp the directives of the Prime Minister and the Bac Ninh Provincial People’s Committee in administration and local socioeconomic development.

In particular, the province’s key tasks are administrative reform and digital transformation, with a focus on addressing eight bottlenecks noted by the Provincial Party Committee, especially environmental pollution. As a result, Bac Ninh ranked among the top three provinces in the first-year Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2022 - a gauge of four component sub-indices made up of 44 indicators measuring the quality of environmental governance in provinces and cities towards coupling environmental protection with economic development. This outcome demonstrated a strong effort by the province to reduce environmental pollution in craft villages and industrial clusters.

Bac Ninh province has a comprehensive approach to applying Party and State resolutions, directives, and regulations on industrial zone development that must align with environmental protection. The province defines coupling industrial development with environmental healing as an important task and a condition for rapid and sustainable socioeconomic development. Bac Ninh has many resolutions on rapid and sustainable socioeconomic development in association with environmental protection and climate response. This approach is clearly expressed in its policy: turning down projects with outdated technologies and high environmental risks; and encouraging businesses to adopt new technologies into production, especially environmentally friendly ones. After more than 25 years, Bac Ninh has 16 central industrial parks, including 12 operational ones which have attracted more than US$24.2 billion of investment capital from companies in 39 countries and territories. Eleven industrial parks have installed automatic environmental monitoring and surveillance systems. Environmental protection in industrial parks is ensured for all tenants. In polluted blackspots such as Phong Khe paper village (Bac Ninh City), Phu Lam industrial cluster (Tien Du district) and Man Xa aluminum village (Yen Phong district), no serious environmental pollution incidents have occurred so far.

In July 2023, the Provincial People’s Committee announced Plan 223/KH-UBND on PGI improvement in 2023-2025, making Bac Ninh province the first to launch this plan. The plan aims to effectively carry out consistent solutions for a better business environment, coupled with improving environmental quality and improving PGI Index scores and rankings in 2023 and the following years to the group of best performers in the country.

In the new development period, impacted by globalization, Bac Ninh province actively targets attracting capital flows of better quality and advanced technologies, and generating higher added value. The province adheres to sustainable development goals to catch up with the Net Zero trend in the world.

In the coming time, Bac Ninh Province will adopt PGI improvement solutions that include greening production, trade, services and consumption. The province will also focus on attracting investment and developing green businesses.

Bac Ninh Province is committed to accelerating green economic development by attracting investment funds and promoting businesses to access green credit sources. The province plans to build eco-industrial parks and eco-urban areas based on sustainable resource use and management. Bac Ninh will also develop science and technology, train a green workforce, foster green consumption and grow the circular economy. The province will strengthen solutions for resource management, and environmental protection, control and encourage energy conservation, and develop environmental treatment services in industrial zones. At the same time, Bac Ninh will enhance scientific and technological capabilities, attract more socialized capital sources, and improve productivity, quality, product competitiveness, production and business performance.

As the first locality in the country to adopt the PGI Improvement Plan along with appropriate solutions, Bac Ninh province is taking new steps toward sustainable development to adapt to globalization trends while maintaining high PGI and PCI rankings in the coming years.

By Anh Quynh, Vietnam Business Forum