After many years of upheavals, in 2021, Vinh Phuc returned to one of the five best performers of the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI).
Sharing about Vinh Phuc province's efforts to return to the fifth position on the PCI rankings 2021, Mr. Le Duy Thanh, Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, said that it was an extremely difficult and challenging journey. In particular, the biggest challenge in implementing and improving the PCI Index is changing the mindset and approach of public employees.
Efforts for higher PCI rankings
To improve the PCI Index, in 2020, Vinh Phuc province set “three good” goals: Good and comprehensive legal environment, good technical infrastructure and good business services. In particular, reforming administrative procedures is considered by local authorities a key task and drastic approach to reduce time and simplify procedures.
For example, the province pledged to reduce the time for checking VAT refunds at the headquarters of taxpayers to 40 working days and streamline administrative procedures to fulfill tax payment obligations to less than 115 hours a year.
Vinh Phuc province has also built and operated a modern, interconnected single-window mechanism for all three levels of administration. The province's hotline system was established and operated effectively in five languages, Vietnamese, Chinese, English, Japanese and Korean, to best support businesses and investors working in the province and exploring the local investment and business environment.
“Vinh Phuc is also one of the first localities to establish and effectively run the workgroup responsible for assisting the Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee in order to remove difficulties for businesses. In 2021, the workgroup synthesized 97 groups of business opinions, directly guided administrative procedures for investors, and recommended competent authorities to deal with emerging problems reported by enterprises,” Mr. Thanh said.
In 2021, competent bodies under the Provincial People’s Committee conducted eight major surveys, including five online surveys to collect and respond to difficulties faced by businesses such as commodity distribution, access to credit information, labor and solutions to business support policies amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
These efforts helped Vinh Phuc improve sub index scores and rankings such as time cost (ranked 3rd), informal charges (ranked 3rd), fair competition and access to land (ranked 7th).
Goals for years to come
In particular, 93.9% of enterprises in Vinh Phuc province rated administrative procedure-handling officers as effective
(6th highest) and 89.5% agreed that the settlement time of administrative procedures was shorter than prescribed.
The above results helped Vinh Phuc achieve spectacular progress in the PCI rankings, from 29th in 2020 with a score of 63.94 points to 5th position in 2021 with 69.69 points.
Mr. Le Duy Thanh added that local authorities need to take more responsibility in maintaining and improving the PCI Index in 2022 by further improving administration quality in order to serve and facilitate business conditions for enterprises.
Accordingly, in 2022, Vinh Phuc will pay special attention to the transparency index because "Institutional transparency and guidance for businesses to access and accompany the government in institutional compliance will be the most important matter and determine other component indicators," Mr. Thanh affirmed.
Besides transparency, governmental dynamism is another indicator that Vinh Phuc province cares for this year since the government will understand and care more about businesses and take more radical actions to support businesses and create synergized forces for Vinh Phuc to enhance the PCI Index in particular and the economic growth as a whole.
Assessing the potential for investment attraction, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment Nguyen Van Do said, to accommodate capital inflows that tend to shift out of China to Southeast Asian countries, Vinh Phuc needs to create an open, attractive and competitive business and investment environment. Specially, the focus is on timely support and solutions to tackle difficulties for businesses. The province will continue to accelerate administrative reforms by scaling up the single-window mechanism at the Provincial and District Public Administration Service Centers. It will strengthen State management of industrial zones; adopt solutions to restructure vocational training facilities; plan, train and develop high-quality human resources for projects with advanced technologies and new know-how.
Le Hien (Vietnam Business Forum)