In 2017, Quang Ninh province topped the nation by economic governance in the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) rankings for the first time, scoring 70.69 points, an increase of 5.19 points over 2016. According to the PCI report released by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Quang Ninh has been listed in Top 5 provinces and cities by economic governance in five straight years. Since the base index was adopted for comparison in 2006, Quang Ninh was the only in Top 5 localities to gain high scores in economic governance in three straight years.
Many reform initiatives
When congratulating and honouring the “governments of action” to top-placed localities this year, VCCI President Vu Tien Loc stressed that Quang Ninh initiated many bold and effective reforms, including the public administrative centre, Department and District Competitiveness Index ( DCCI Index), business interaction on DDCI Quang Ninh Fanpage and business support website administered by the Provincial People’s Committee.
The overall performance of administrative reform, measured by the time cost index, also showed positive views on Quang Ninh province from the business community with a number of specific indicators such as staff performance (75 per cent), friendly attitude (70 per cent), and shorter time (76 per cent).
Especially, in addition to the very successful public administration centre, Quang Ninh effectively applied external monitoring tools to better administrative reform and guidance and administrative quality at all levels and across all branches in the province. Specifically, it launched the annual DDCI in 2015.
DDCI allows the province to effectively monitor and improve the accountability of department and district leaders for unit operations for which they are responsible.
DDCI benefits are reflected in PCI survey results. For example, in 2014, 80 per cent of enterprises said that Quang Ninh province had good initiatives at the provincial level but they were not well implemented by provincial departments. But, this rate dropped to 64 per cent in 2017, the second lowest in the country.
Similarly, 64 per cent of companies said provincial leaders had right policies which were not well carried out by districts in 2014. This rate fell to 58 per cent in 2017.
Resolution for the continued leadership
Quang Ninh Provincial People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Duc Long said, on the 100-point scale, the room is still broad for the province to raise its current 70.69 points. Thus, soon after the PCI 2017 was announced, Quang Ninh province held a workshop on its PCI insights 2017 and directions, tasks and solutions in 2018 with the aim of assessing and analysing PCI performance results in 2017 and proposing practical and effective solutions for better outcomes in 2018 and beyond.
Looking at 10 PCI component indices, Quang Ninh province saw six indices rising, including land access and security of tenure, time cost and regulatory compliance, fair competition, labour and training, legal institutions and security. Meanwhile, it saw declines in three indicators, including entry cost, transparency and access to information, and informal charges.
By rankings, just four indices picked up, including transparency and access to information, time cost and regulatory compliance, fair competition, and labour and training; two stayed unchanged: entry cost and business support services; and four slipped, including land access and security of tenure, proactivity of provincial leadership, informal charges, and legal institutions and security.
Among three falling indicators, the informal charges index dropped most (losing 0.59 points and 19 places); the transparency and access to information index decreased by 0.04 points to 6.80 points from 6.84 points but still climbed three places to third from sixth among 63 provinces and cities. The entry cost index fell by 0.35 points and stayed unchanged in rankings.
In fact, some indicators got higher scores but did not gain rankings while some picked up in rankings in spite of losing their scores. Therefore, to achieve remarkable improvements, Quang Ninh province needs further improvements in Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), focusing on adding more scores and rankings of three component indices: transparency and access to information, informal charge, and legal institutions and security. Improvements must be compared to its peer performances, not only its own past performances.
In order to keep its title, Quang Ninh introduced drastic solutions like further reviewing and improving administrative reforms, especially procedures concerning investment, construction, land, tax, customs and social insurance.
The province will focus on solutions to raise corporate competitiveness and encourage the transformation of business households into enterprises; deploy solutions to enhance corporate governance; study, build and pilot its own Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI) and Enterprise Management Index (EMI).
The province will carry out various ways to assess the performance of public employees, especially at provincial and district public administrative centres, so as to raise their responsibility and service attitude to investors and enterprises, and replace professionally and ethnically disqualified employees. Every department, branch and locality must actively prepare solutions to enhance the performance of business supports.
In addition, Quang Ninh will utilise business support channels like enhancing and promoting roles of business associations in conducting PCI and DDCI surveys; effectively deploy DDCI 2018; carry out DDCI 2018 fanpages; further promote roles of central and local media agencies to disseminate the spirit of Resolution 19-2017/NQ-CP, PCI, DDCI and support activities.
With the determination to continuing its leadership in PCI rankings in 2018, Quang Ninh will strive to score a total of 76.25 points.