Thai Binh Province Placing Business at the Heart of Administrative Reform

10:58:05 AM | 23/6/2020

Thai Binh province has adopted various measures and actions to strongly improve the business environment, remove "bottlenecks" in investment and business development, and support local enterprises and investors. This is more vividly shown in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, with serious impacts on business operations. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr. Dang Trong Thang, Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee, Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, on this issue. Ngo Khuyen reports.

Would you be kind enough to briefly tell us about the province’s efforts to improve the investment and business climate in recent years. Especially, what solutions has Thai Binh adopted to support businesses to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020?

In the past time, the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People’s Council and the Provincial People’s Committee have always seriously directed relevant agencies to conduct administrative reforms, enhance competitiveness, improve the investment and business environment, facilitate business activities, and carry out more investment promotion to draw more investment capital into the province.

Thai Binh province established the Provincial Public Administration Service Center and district-level public service divisions by renaming and reshuffling provincial and district public administrative centers. The Thai Binh Public Administration Service Center, which came into operation on October 1, 2019, has settled administrative procedures under the “5 on-site” principle. To date, 100% of administrative procedures are delivered at the Public Administration Service Center. In addition, Dong Hung district and Thai Binh City have now applied the “5 on-site” principle to the settlement of administrative procedures at document reception and result delivery divisions.

The province has directed its departments, branches and localities to review and cut 50% of the time of handling administrative procedures compared to the current regulations.

The provincial People's Committee has approved the project of implementing the competitiveness index at the provincial and district levels (District Competitiveness Index -DDCI). The Provincial People’s Committee has assigned the Thai Binh Business Association to work with relevant agencies and experts to develop and apply this index right in the first quarter of 2020, which is a measure of executive quality of local governments. DDCI will be an important tool for the Provincial People’s Committee to monitor and direct provincial departments and district governments to raise their executive quality. DDCI also supports leaders of departments and District People's Committees to figure out strengths and limitations in administration, thus identifying key issues that need reforms and effective solutions to assist enterprises to invest, manufacture and trade. It also helps fill the gap between enterprises with authorities.

In order to improve the business investment environment to strongly attract investment projects in the locality, the province has paid attention to mobilizing resources to invest in developing socio-economic infrastructure such as traffic systems, industrial parks, industrial clusters, schools, hospitals, social houses, etc; formulate and promulgate mechanisms and policies to encourage investment in each specific business area such as: Industry - trade, rural agriculture, culture, sports, vocational training, clean water, etc.

Annually, the Provincial People's Committee issues programs and action plans to implement Government's Resolution No. 19 and No. 02 on the main tasks and solutions to improve the business environment and national competitiveness, support enterprise development.

According to the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) report published by Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in 2019, Thai Binh province scored 65.38 points, ranking 28th out of 63 provinces and cities nationwide, and 6th in the 11 provinces and cities in the Red River Delta. Thai Binh province has recorded five consecutive years of increasing points (in 2019, it increased by 7.64 points, 10 places higher than that of 2015), proving the provincial efforts in improving the local business and investment environment.

Since the beginning of 2020, the world, including Vietnam and Thai Binh province, have been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. To promptly tackle hardships for enterprises and people affected by the epidemic, the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People’s Council and the Provincial People’s Committee of Thai Binh implemented urgent, serious and drastic directions from the Party Central Committee, the Government and the Prime Minister on prevention of the COVID-19 epidemic and on tasks and solutions to clear business difficulties against enterprises, promote public investment disbursement, ensure social security, and cope with COVID-19 impacts. The Provincial People’s Committee has issued the action plan and specified principles, conditions, and contents of support for each target group, methods and order of implementation at each level. The province has set up a steering committee to execute the plan and supervise the progress of implementation at all three levels (province, district and commune).

In addition, the Provincial People's Committee issued the action plan to implement Resolution 42/NQ-CP dated April 9, 2020 and Decision 15/2020/QD-TTg dated April 24, 2020 of the Prime Minister on implementation of tasks and solutions to remove business difficulties against enterprises, speed up public investment disbursement, ensure social security and respond to COVID-19 pandemic impacts. The action plan specifies principles, conditions, support content for each target group and the way and order of implementation at each level. The province has set up a steering committee to implement tasks and supervise the implementation of the plan at all 3 levels (province, district and commune). The province has enhanced the propaganda to raise the sense of responsibility of all levels and branches in the implementation of policies to ensure timely, adequate, right subjects, publicity and transparency so as to prevent corruption and the abusing of State policies.

What did the province expect for changes in investment promotion and support in the coming years after the formation of the Thai Binh Investment and Development Promotion Center?

In the past time, the Investment Promotion and Consultation Center (under the Department of Planning and Investment), the Trade Promotion Center (under the Department of Industry and Trade) and Tourism Promotion Center (under the Department of Culture and Sports and Tourism) have actively achieved certain successes. However, investment, trade and tourism promotion is still inconsistent and ineffective.

The establishment of Thai Binh Investment and Development Promotion Center under the Provincial People’s Committee from the amalgamation of the three centers, which also took over investment promotion tasks from the Industrial Zones Investment Consultation, Support and Service Center under the Economic and Industrial Zones Authority of Thai Binh, is necessary to combine investment resources for socio-economic development, and address current limitations and disadvantages in investment, trade and tourism promotion. This move also matched with Resolution 39-NQ/TW dated April 7, 2015 of the 11th Politburo on public personnel streamlining and restructuring, and Resolution 19-NQ/TW dated October 25, 2017 of the Steering Committee of the 12th the Party Central Committee on continued apparatus reorganization for better quality and performance of public units.

How has Thai Binh province carried out the Prime Minister’s Decision 1486/QD-TTg dated October 28, 2019 on approval of the Construction Master Plan for Thai Binh Economic Zone to 2040, with a vision to 2050?

On October 28, 2019, the Prime Minister issued Decision 1486/QD-TTg on approval of the Construction Master Plan for Thai Binh Economic Zone to 2040, with a vision to 2050. On November 5, 2019, the Provincial People’s Committee held a conference on planning, and directed the People's Committees of Thai Thuy and Tien Hai districts and the People's Committees of communes attached to the economic zone to announce the master plan to the public.

Currently, the master plan was approved by the Prime Minister. Thai Binh province directed relevant agencies and the People's Committees of Tien Hai and Thai Thuy districts to execute the master plan; reviewed and revised sector planning, zone planning and infrastructure planning to match the master plan. The province also actively studied and introduced regulations on investment incentives and support in the economic zone and prepared good conditions to attract investors into the economic zone.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum