Nghe An Investment Environment: From PCI Perspective

4:54:12 PM | 18/10/2011

The first difficulty facing Nghe An province is its average ranking of provincial competitiveness index (PCI) in recent years. In 2010, it scored 52.58 points, standing on the 54th position out of 63 rated provinces and cities, a climb of just two places on the ranking table. The ranking is low not only in the country but also in the central coastal region.
In 2010, the land access index only reached 4.46 out of 10 points, the information transparency and access index was just 5.32 points, time cost index was 4.79 points, and unofficial cost index was 5.47 points. Basing these data, Nghe An province has a lot to be done to make its investment - business environment more friendly and more effective.
Last year when I worked with the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, its staffs were drafting the “Improving provincial competitiveness index” project in an effort to uplift its image in the eyes of investors and businesses. Mr Nguyen Van Do, Director of Nghe An Planning and Investment Department, said: "Nghe An is the largest province in the country (nearly 16, 500 square kilometres) and has 12 mountainous districts where not all knows about PCI. We can hardly demand the same level of mountainous districts as that of delta cities and towns.”
Transparency and equality in access to information is the key to solve a lot of matters, including administrative procedures and unofficial costs. But, not all businesses can use the internet effectively or have enough time to know the “single-window” mechanism. After one year, the province has witnessed much progress. Nearly 80 percent of 8,000 businesses in the province have websites and the website of the provincial government is one of most visited sites. Sharing this success, Mr Nguyen Van Do said: “We had to review our information channels open to businesses to find whether there were any problems in enterprises’ access to information to seek out best solutions to support the business community.
Ahead of the Conference on Investment Promotion into North Central Region, Nghe An has proactively shown off its image. On September 10, the Nghe An Provincial People's Committee hosted a meeting with 15 embassies and 29 outstanding enterprises. This was part of the “Nghe An - Integration and development” investment promotion programme. From 2006 to August 2011, the province licensed 332 investment projects with a total registered capital of nearly VND108 trillion (US$5 billion), including 23 FDI projects and 19 ODA projects worth US$180 million in total.
Many projects are considered to have created new driving forces for the provincial economic development. Outstanding projects included Kobe sponge iron production project using Itmk technology (US$1 billion), Tan Thang cement production plant (VND3,643 billion), Smart City urban area (nearly VND2,300 billion), Chi Khe hydropower plant (VND1,271 billion), a rubber growing project (VND704 billion), Big C supermarket (US$4 million), Thai Hoa cow breeding project invested by Bac A Bank (VND7,000 billion), and Nghi Thiet - Cua Lo deepwater port (US$490 million). Although difficulties still face Nghe An, its potentials remain huge. The opportunity of prosperity is always open.