Nam Dinh: Solutions for Stronger Competitiveness

4:52:26 PM | 27/9/2018

All-tiers of authorities of Nam Dinh province are firmly carrying out various measures to quicken administrative reform, improve the business environment and enhance local competitiveness to shape an enabling dynamic administration to serve people and businesses. The Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has an exclusive interview with Mr Pham Dinh Nghi, Chairman of Nam Dinh Provincial People’s Committee, on these contents. Ngo Khuyen reports.

Could you please tell us your concerns about how to currently solve growth challenges of Nam Dinh province, particularly issues raised at the working meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue on April 21, 2018, like reviewing the development strategy, building specific socioeconomic development projects, and calling for strategic investors to realize great growth dreams?
After more than three years of carrying out the Resolution of the 19th Provincial Party Committee (the 2015 - 2020 term), Nam Dinh province achieved considerable socioeconomic development results. Its gross regional domestic product (GRDP) grows 7.5 per cent on average. Fisheries, industry, export and investing value outperformed the national average growth. The new countryside construction attained good results, with seven districts and cities having 100 per cent of communes and towns meeting new countryside standards. Remarkably, five districts of Hai Hau, Nghia Hung, Truc Ninh, Xuan Truong and Giao Thuy fulfilled new countryside standards, standing among 10 per cent of districts nationwide obtaining this status. In 2017, its investing value jumped to stand among the Top 4 recipients of foreign direct investment (FDI) for the first time. The socio-economic infrastructure, particularly traffic routes and industrial zones, has been well invested and developed. The socio-economic and cultural development and social security are ensured; political security, social order and safety are maintained. However, the socio-economic development of the province is not commensurate with the potential.

In order to boost its socio-economic development, the province will implement a number of tasks and solutions as follows:

Focusing on firm implementation of administrative reform, improving the business environment, shortening the time required to settle administrative procedures and enhance publicity and transparency. Implementing strong e-government with many online services at level 3 and 4; facilitating investors, enterprises and people.

Concentrating public investment capital and intensifying the mobilisation of social resources, speeding up the implementation of key projects: The project on building a development roads connecting the sea economic zone of Nam Dinh province with the Cau Gie- Ninh Binh expressway; Thinh Long Bridge; and Provincial roads 488B, 485B and 487B.

Speeding up the implementation of the project of Rang Dong Textile and Apparel Industrial Zone. Deploying the construction of My Thuan Industrial Park to develop hi-tech industries and supporting industries; construction of industrial clusters in districts.

Nam Dinh authorities are showing strong resolve and commitment to improve the business environment and enhance its PCI performance. Could you please tell us about this issue?
Carrying out Resolution 19/NQ-CP on major tasks and solutions to better business environment and higher national competitiveness and the Resolution 35/NQ-CP dated May 16, 2016 of the Government on business support and development to 2020, Nam Dinh province issued action plans, including specific targets, tasks and solutions assigned to each department, sector and locality.

Enforcing Plan 58/KH-UBND dated July 1, 2016 of the Provincial People's Committee and Resolution 05-NQ/TU on promoting the public administration reform, enhancing competitiveness and increasing investment capital in the 2016 - 2020 period with the aim of “"Strongly improving the business investment environment".

Every year, the Provincial People’s Committee hosts at least two open business dialogues a year where provincial leaders directly listen to opinions from enterprises, hear responses from local authorities and give directions to relevant bodies to settle existing hardships faced by enterprises. The province also invited specialists from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) to exchange information on improving the business environment and raising the PCI. The Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee promulgated Directive 07/CT-UBND dated May 30, 2017 on rectifying and improving business inspections and visits. Authorities will not pay more than one administrative visit a year.

The Provincial People’s Committee established the Nam Dinh Investment Promotion and Business Support Centre, under the Office of the Provincial People’s Committee, and issued the Regulation on coordination in settling administrative procedures concerning local investment projects not funded by the State budget, to intensify the coordination between the Nam Dinh Investment Promotion and Business Support Centre and concerned agencies and organisations, clearly defining the responsibility and time of implementing investment procedures of each agency or unit.

The province also set up a working group to inspect and press on the implementation of tasks, conclusions and directions of the Provincial People’s Committee and the Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee to promptly identify shortcomings and limitations in carrying out tasks assigned by the Provincial People’s Committee and the Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee. The province also proposed solutions to overcome shortcomings and weaknesses and handle difficulties with local authorities.

In addition, contact hotlines are made public on relevant websites to get feedback and suggestions from the business community and propose solutions to emerging problems.

Besides, the province has boosted trade promotion, market information and commodity branding. The provincial leadership has actively contacted and invited capable, experienced investors to explore business opportunities in the province.

The provincial People's Committee has cooperated with Vietnam Post Corporation to sign a comprehensive cooperation agreement on the provision of postal and public administrative services and direct the provincial departments, branches and administrations at all levels to implement effectively. The receipt of dossiers and the settlement of administrative procedures through public-utility post services to organizations, enterprises and people to help people and enterprises save costs and time in the implementation of administrative procedures.

Driven by strong engagement and effort, the public administration reform produced initial positive outcomes. The investment environment has been improved, the settlement of investment administrative procedures is now quicker than the regulatory time frame. The Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) in 2017 scored 39.32 points, ranking third among 63 provinces and cities in the country.
However, the process of improving the business investment environment of the province has some limitations. In the coming time, the province will continue to boost administrative reforms, especially administrative procedures, improve business investment environment, and improve the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), PAR Index, creating the most favourable conditions for investors, enterprises and people.

How will Nam Dinh province promote roles of business associations to further improve the local investment and business climate in the coming time?
In the past time, the province has always made it convenient for associations, business associations and members to operate as well as invest in production and business in the area. To further promote the role of associations, business associations, the province continues to promote the implementation of some tasks as follows:

Encouraging and mobilising districts and the city to establish local business associations.
- Continuing to support training for enterprises on markets, labour and other programmes and agreements signed by Vietnam.

- Promoting the effectiveness of the hotline, online inquiries and inquiries on the provincial website; improving the quality of meetings, dialogue between the local government and enterprises.

- Continuing to accelerate administrative reform; well implementing the one-stop-shop mechanism at units; improving the quality of solving administrative procedures in all areas. Implementing the inter-agency one-stop mechanism.

- Ensuring good security, social order and safety; comprehensive solutions to strengthen investor confidence in the investment environment of business and production of the province, creating spill-over effects to attract investment.

- The provincial People's Committee also suggested that associations and business associations in the province well propagate to their members to strictly observe the provisions of law; to actively contribute more ideas to the authorities at all levels in implementing the mechanism, policies and implementing administrative procedures. Enterprises are to establish good coordination with VCCI and other organisations on improving the local business investment environment.