Bac Ninh: Concerted Efforts for Strong Administrative Reform

11:29:21 AM | 12/6/2023

With administrative reform defined as a strategic breakthrough stage, Bac Ninh has aggressively carried out consistent and effective solutions to this effect. According to a survey report on the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2022, Bac Ninh ranked 7th out of 63 provinces and cities nationwide with 69.08 points, with many sub-indices higher than those in 2021. This worthy result is a recognition of the efforts made by the whole political system at all levels, across all branches and in all localities to build a modern administration, boost economic growth and attract investment funds.

Mr. Vuong Quoc Tuan, Vice Chairman of Bac Ninh Provincial People's Committee, receives the PCI trophy and certificate of recognition as one of the best performers in the 2022 PCI rankings

Many positive results

Among 10 PCI sub-indices in 2022, Bac Ninh had six advancers (versus 2021): Market Entry, Time Cost, Transparency, Fair Competition, Labor Training and Legal Institutions. The Labor Training Index made the biggest leap (0.83 points), followed by the Market Entry Index which gained 0.6 points. This was also the second consecutive year that Bac Ninh ranked 7th in the PCI standings.

Standing Vice Chairman of Bac Ninh Provincial People's Committee Vuong Quoc Tuan said: “This is the result of the efforts of the province's political system with many specific and flexible policies and solutions.”

The province requested relevant agencies and localities to carry out solutions and initiatives to speed up administrative procedure reforms and reduce the time needed to handle administrative procedures, especially business-related formalities. At the same time, the province consolidated the single-window system at all levels.

Right in early 2022, the province held an online conference with all departments, agencies, branches and localities to communicate the directives of the Prime Minister and the Provincial People's Committee on administering local socio-economic development. One of the key tasks is administrative reform and digital transformation, focusing on clearing eight bottlenecks mentioned by the Provincial Party Committee.

In addition, to raise the responsibility of leaders at all levels in economic administration and business support, the province launched the District and Department Competitiveness Index (DDCI). After many consecutive years, DDCI has kept growing with timely changes to overcome limitations.

Moreover, the province also focused on solutions to improve low-score sub-indices like land access, the dynamism of the government and informal costs. Currently, local businesses do not need to go to responsible agencies to carry out business establishment procedures but do it online.

Specially, the Rapid Response Team chaired by Standing Vice Chairman Vuong Quoc Tuan (previously the Rapid Response Team for COVID-19 Pandemic Prevention) supported businesses to access information in the fastest way to have timely solutions.

Furthermore, Bac Ninh province secured the third position in the Provincial Green Index (PGI), launched for the first time, with 17.21 points. The province obtained the highest score of sub-index 1: " combat pollution and private environmental accidents". Bac Ninh was also chosen to pilot PGI integration into PCI. This fruit came from strong efforts in reducing the environmental pollution in handicraft villages and industrial clusters over the past time.

Standing Vice Chairman Vuong Quoc Tuan affirmed that this result showed the close attention of local leaders to environmental issues besides social and economic development. Bac Ninh defines that industrialization and modernization coupled with environmental protection is an important task, a condition for sustainable development in the coming years. In gray areas such as Phong Khe paper village (Bac Ninh City), Phu Lam industrial cluster (Tien Du district), Man Xa aluminumware village (Yen Phong district), environmental issues are always carefully monitored and effectively handled.

Thanks to its efforts for green and sustainable economic development, Bac Ninh secures a Top 3 standing on the Provincial Green Index (PGI), scoring 17.21 points

Leveraging investment inflows

Efforts to speed up administrative reform and improve competitiveness have leveraged investment inflows. From a purely agricultural province with insufficient infrastructure, Bac Ninh has basically become a modern industrial province and a leading light in investment attraction, especially FDI.

The province licensed 1,842 valid FDI projects with more than US$23.56 billion and 1,545 valid domestic projects with more than VND252,826 billion (US$11 billion) of investment capital. Many giants have placed their projects in the province, including Samsung, Canon (Japan), Foxconn (Taiwan) and ABB.

To make Bac Ninh a centrally run city, the province determines that investment attraction plays an important role and is a key resource to engage companies in socio-economic development. Investment attraction must be associated with the knowledge economy, high-tech production and sustainable development, based on its project selection criteria: Using less land, less manpower; having higher economic efficiency, higher budget contribution and higher technological content.

The province will focus on attracting green investment, high-tech industries, supporting industry, hi-tech agriculture, clean agriculture, high-class service and trade complexes, infrastructure and urban development investment projects. Priority is given to modern and environmentally friendly high-tech industries.

Bac Ninh will continue to improve investment attraction mechanisms and policies, provincial planning and related plans; and prepare human resources and facilities. It will place the focus on speeding up site clearance and infrastructure construction for VSIP2, Yen Phong 2A, Yen Phong 2C, Thuan Thanh I, Gia Binh, Gia Binh II and industrial zones as planned.

Besides, the province will improve the investment environment, publicize administrative procedures, promote public administrative services, minimize "informal charges", provide "Equal access to land", and create an open and attractive environment for investors. This is a "dynamic" comparative advantage that unleashes local development resources in the coming time.

“Thus, this will help carry out the Provincial Master Plan in the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050, to make Bac Ninh a center of high-tech industry and services, a smart production center of Vietnam and Southeast Asia, a smart, innovative and ecological city while preserving and promoting unique cultural values and identities of the province,” he confirmed.

By Phuong Linh, Vietnam Business Forum