Quang Nam: Improving Business Environment Is Ongoing Task

10:35:33 AM | 4/5/2021

Despite achieving many remarkable results in accelerating administrative reform, improving business investment environment and enhancing competitiveness, Quang Nam province continues with these tasks with many directions, practical solutions and specific actions as the entire political system defined this as a regular and continuous task. Mr. Le Tri Thanh, Chairman of Quang Nam Provincial People's Committee, gave an interview to our reporter around this issue. Ngo Khuyen reports.

Even as the negative impact of COVID-19 continues, in 2021, Quang Nam province is still determined to set relatively high development goals. So, what tasks and solutions is the province focusing on? How has the province endeavored to achieve these?

Since its reestablishment (in 1997), 2020 was perhaps the toughest and most challenging year that Quang Nam province has ever faced, with destructive epidemics and natural disasters. Two COVID-19 epidemic outbreaks (March and July 2020) exerted a negative impact on socioeconomic development. From September to December, successive storms and floods caused landslides, serious damage to people and property, especially in mountainous districts of Nam Tra My and Phuoc Son where damage was estimated at up to more than VND11,000 billion. Difficulties mounted but, with efforts of the Party Committee, authorities and local people, with the support of the Central Government and the Military Zone 5, the engagement of domestic and foreign organizations and individuals, Quang Nam managed to control the COVID-19 epidemic, gradually overcome traffic problems, built new secure, spacious resettlement zones and restored production operations.

Despite difficult conditions, Quang Nam always focused on pursuing the "dual goals” as directed by the Prime Minister. By the end of 2020, State budget revenue was VND23,672 billion, equal to 92% of the initial estimate and 2% higher than in 2019. In the year, 1,287 new enterprises registered for establishment with a combined starting fund of VND17,086 billion. The agricultural sector grew by 3.5%; the quality and quantity of OCOP agricultural products constantly increased with more than 200 products to meet three-star standards. 12 more communes satisfied new countryside standards, bringing total certified communes to 116 communes or 58% of total communes). Poverty rate declined to 5.23% with 3,282 households. As many as 6,462 households relocated their residences, equal to 107.7% of the total target set for 2020 (5,000 households).

Upholding achieved results, in 2021, Quang Nam set out many relatively high economic development targets, including GRDP growth of 6.5-7%. The province is concentrating on main tasks and solutions as follows.

First, making personnel breakthroughs: The province will review and reassess the organizational apparatus, especially at governmental agencies at all levels, for rationalization while making breakthroughs in employing public employees to replace wrong persons in wrong places. Among most important tasks, this is the most important.

Second, focusing on disaster relief and COVID-19 epidemic prevention. The province will further overcome consequences of natural disasters to stabilize accommodations for people; restore traffic routes; revitalize production for people; prepare all scenarios to deal with epidemic outbreak and keep it at bay.

Third, promoting the planning work associated with three groundbreaking strategic tasks: “Building synchronous infrastructure system and urban development; actively participating in the Fourth Industrial Revolution in line with high-quality human resources; and improving the investment environment”. The province will implement the Quang Nam master planning in 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050, to build synchronous infrastructure, increase the land value and stimulate production development.

Fourth, restructuring the economy to increase the share of industry and service where tourism and service development is the spearhead. The province will develop the green, clean, high-tech, smart-tech and environment-friendly industries; develop specialized farming areas where businesses and farmers will establish cooperation ties in production.

Fifth, strongly developing the marine and coastal economy. The province will concentrate resources on socioeconomic development in upland and mountainous areas. Specifically, mechanisms, policies and schemes will be issued to build coastal plains into centers of urbanization, service, tourism, clean industry and high-tech agriculture.

Sixth, in 2021, the province will strive to increase businesses in the province to 9,370, focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises, industrial, supporting and service enterprises. Quang Nam will continue to concentrate on supporting businesses to develop export markets, especially some key products textile and garment, leather footwear, transport means and parts, steel, electronic components, seafood and woodwork. Besides, the province will conduct compensation, support, resettlement, land acquisition and land allocation to investors to launch their projects. At the same time, Quang Nam will increase meetings and dialogues with businesses.

In the last five years (2015-2019), Quang Nam always secured a Top 10 place in the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI). But in this “fierce race”, any locality with slower reform will be left behind. How will Quang Nam maintain and improve its PCI in the coming time?

In some years, Quang Nam province’s PCI ranked low. In 2013, it ranked No. 27 out of 63 provinces and cities. Provincial leaders realized that competition for PCI standing is about administration. If this is not seriously recognized by the province, it will be left behind. Thus, we were determined to carry out drastic reforms, especially about administration. Especially in 2016, the Provincial People's Committee determined that “accelerating administrative procedure reform” is one of the province's breakthroughs to improve the business investment environment. In 2017, the province established the Provincial Public Administration Center and the District Reception Division to resolve administrative procedures in a public and transparent manner. All administrative procedures at the Provincial Public Administration Center are handled on the “four jobs at an office” principle: “Receiving - Appraising - Approving - Returning the result”. In addition, we apply e-government to create a fast and close government-business interaction and reduce inconvenience for businesses. Besides, we focus on solving difficulties faced by enterprises at monthly business receptions. Thanks to the good implementation of the above issues, in five consecutive years (2015-2019), Quang Nam province’s PCI Index secured a Top 10 position.

To maintain and improve the PCI in the coming time, at the end of 2020, the Provincial People's Committee issued an action plan to this effect in 2021-2025 according to Decision 3540/QD-UBND dated December 8, 2020, which figured out eight groups of key solutions for provincial and local agencies as follows:

- Speeding up administrative procedure reform, reviewing and removing unnecessary and troublesome administrative procedures, especially administrative procedures directly relating to investment, production and business.

- Enhancing the role, responsibility and accountability of agency leaders at all levels in supporting and accompanying enterprises, maintaining direct meetings and dialogues to grasp and promptly solve difficulties concerning investment, production and business.

- Promulgating regulations on coordination among specialized agencies to strengthen coordination among departments, branches and localities in carrying out public duties, eradicate sluggishness and responsibility avoidance.

- Further enhancing transparency and supporting enterprises to access information.

- Directing good implementation of inspection once a year in accordance with the Prime Minister's Directive 20/CT-TTg dated May 17, 2017 to reduce time for businesses and avoid bad effect on their business performances.

- Stepping up information technology application towards paperless agencies, striving to integrate 50% of online public services with the National Public Service Portal by 2025.

- Thoroughly informing public employees to study deeply and understand every detail of the PCI Index to advise and propose specific and practical solutions to improve the local business environment; organizing training classes to foster professional knowledge and skills for public employees to contact and work directly with investors and businesses to better meet working requirements.

Quang Nam province is also carrying out the DDCI Survey 2021. How does the DDCI Index help boost administrative reform, improve the business environment and enhance competitiveness of the province in the current period?

For a long time, Quang Nam province has always strived to improve the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), which in return tells its strong points and weak points in administration capacity and business environment, but the index does not reach lower levels of administration and agency. Therefore, in order to translate the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) to the District and Department Competitiveness Index (DDCI), Quang Nam province launched this index in 2018 and 2019 to assess and announce its competitiveness indices at various levels and fields. The application of DDCI to gauge competitiveness of agencies and units in the current period is very important:

- First of all, accelerating the improvement of the business environment; shortening the distance of administration from provincial leaders to lower authorities.

- Second, identifying and overcoming aspects that are done very well by departments, branches and localities; helping departments, branches and localities promptly to rectify weaknesses and foster strengths in administration; and perfecting institutions and policies of departments, branches and local authorities.

Third, DDCI will create a reliable, popular and transparent information channel for investors and businesses to express ideas for government construction; helping the local business community raise a common voice on the province's economic governance.

Finally, DDCI assessment is expected to help Quang Nam make breakthrough PCI scores and rankings in the following years to stay in the very good group of economic governance so as to build an increasingly favorable, transparent and reliable image of the business and investment environment in the eyes of the business community and investors.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum