Quang Ninh retains mantle in latest PCI evaluation

April 26, 2021 | 08:30
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“It’s the sincere actions of local authorities that make enterprises and investors choose Quang Ninh, not incentives or policies. Trust will make everything,” said Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a speech lauding Quang Ninh’s welcoming business and investment environment.
quang ninh retains mantle in latest pci evaluation
Quang Ninh province has yet again topped the PCI rankings, for the fourth year in a row

The Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2020 was announced on April 15, with Quang Ninh marking a fourth consecutive year at the top with 75.09 points.

This is also the eighth consecutive year that Quang Ninh has been present in the top five cities and provinces with the best quality of economic management in the country.

According to chairman Vu Tien Loc of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the PCI is a continuous race, requiring ceaseless efforts and persistence by every locality. The 16-year journey of implementing the index has recognised the non-stop efforts of Quang Ninh’s authorities. “Quang Ninh is one of the few localities able to build the next generation of leaders with a consistent development strategy, operation, and management mindset. That has created confidence among investors,” he said.

Le Quang Thang, chairman of Viet Long Investment and Construction JSC located in the province added, “Quang Ninh’s leaders now receive the great trust of residents and enterprises. It’s unprecedented that residents agreed to hand over land before receiving compensation the way they did for the Van Don-Mong Cai Expressway project. This is also the project breaking the record of land clearance time in Quang Ninh.”

From the perspective of foreign investors, AMATA Group from Thailand, who has been deeply involved in Quang Ninh since 2013, said the management style of provincial authorities has become the decisive factor in AMATA’s investment plans.

Nguyen Van Nhan, general director of AMATA Halong Urban JSC explained, “It’s very rare that both the secretary and the chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee speak with one voice, attend the same meetings with investors, and transmit the same message. This clearly showcases that the leaders of Quang Ninh understand investor sentiment well.”

Breaking new records

Quang Ninh’s 2020 ranking in the PCI is an increase of 1.69 points compared to 2019, and it is also the only province in the entire country to pass the 75-point mark in the results since 2010.

A month after the 2019 results were revealed, Quang Ninh held an in-depth assessment and analysis conference about the issue. The provincial leaders did not focus on the remarkable results but admitted that while Quang Ninh is at the top of the rankings, it could still climb further.

In 2019, six indices were increased in both point and rank, two indexes increased in point but fell in rank, and a further two indexes dropped in both. Seven of these particular indicators improved in 2020. The two leading indexes in the ranking are Labour Training (8.41 points) and Business Support Services (7.58) This change helped improve Quang Ninh’s overall score compared to 2019.

The province, which is a developed tourism and service industry, has been heavily affected by the pandemic. However, through flexibility in management and real-time analytics, Quang Ninh has successfully fulfilled its tasks of recovering the economy and batting away COVID-19.

Socioeconomic stability and total product growth in the province for the whole of 2020 reached 10.05 per cent while state budget revenues reached VND49.3 trillion ($2.14 billion), exceeding the target assigned and the estimate at the beginning of the year.

In the context of the pandemic, Quang Ninh persisted with administrative reform efforts to create a favourable environment for businesses. From the recommendations of the business community, Quang Ninh has promptly resolved problems arising from the translation of import and export procedures for enterprises.

The total number of administrative procedures put into action at the provincial public administrative service centres reached 1,939 administrative cases, at the district level 293 cases, and at commune levels 111 administrative cases. The number of administrative procedures in the whole province at level 3 and 4 was 1,552 – at provincial level 4, the number of completed procedures reached 36 per cent, an increase of 22 percentage points compared to 2019.

The province also succeeded in connecting with seven specialised databases of ministries and central branches, and interconnecting the Provincial Smart Operations Center with the government’s and the prime minister’s steering centres.

Smart decisions

Investors and businesses are realising that the quality of enforcement of the government, departments, and agencies of all levels in Quang Ninh has been significantly improved.

Huang Xing Jin, representative of solar cell producer Jinko Solar, spoke of the issue at a ceremony to hand over the investment registration certificate for its $500 million project at the end of last month. “We were very touched and amazed by the performance of many agencies and departments in Quang Ninh. The working connection is very professional with the investor even during the Lunar New Year holiday. Our choice of Quang Ninh province after surveying more than 20 provinces and 30 industrial zones in Vietnam is completely correct.”

Nguyen Tuong Van, Chairman of Quang Ninh People’s Committee said, “Not only working through holidays, it is not uncommon for leaders of Quang Ninh to meet with enterprises and investors in late conferences, even starting after 10pm. The provincial authorities always focus on efficiency and satisfaction for local residents and enterprises.” As an attendee of such meetings, Nguyen Van Nhan also shared, “Around midnight, even if meetings are finished, provincial leaders stay and continue the discussions.”

Nguyen Tuong Van further explained, “In order to monitor and issue timely instructions for the assisting apparatus, in the past six years, the assessment of the District and Departmental Level Competitiveness Index (DDCI) has also been practically implemented by Quang Ninh.”

With the effects of the pandemic ongoing, people are talking about recovery and getting back into action, but different directions may be taken differently. “At this time, the business community is undergoing a strong reform, with a large capital flow shift,” Vu Thi Kim Chi, senior vice director of Quang Ninh Investment Promotion Agency shared.

“Public administration has to be improved to keep up with and serve investors and businesses. By doing this, the big goal is to recover the economy and continue to develop in a sustainable direction. In order to closely monitor this transition in Quang Ninh, the DDCI in 2021 will continue to make innovations in assessment in order to be more practical,” Chi added.

Nguyen Tuong Van - Chairman Quang Ninh People’s Committee

quang ninh retains mantle in latest pci evaluation

To gain such a positive result, Quang Ninh had to focus its great efforts in improving the investment and business environment.

Firstly we targeted human resources. Our province is proactively and drastically reorganising our administration system to meet the increasing requirements of innovation as well as improving the personal ability, professional skills, and strict discipline for state officials and employees to response the necessity.

One important reason why Quang Ninh achieved the top PCI ranking in four consecutive years is its people who are very creative and dynamic. Quang Ninh is one of the first provinces in Vietnam organising management examinations for leadership positions to seek for the most talented people.

Secondly, the province applies strict reform steps by reducing time and increasing transparency for administrative procedures, improving the quality of public services, and tightening the land management, planning, and clearance policies. Many projects can be licensed within 24 hours to help citizens and entrepreneurs.

Thirdly, Quang Ninh focuses on digital transformation to modernise administrative procedures towards establishing e-government and digital economy, with the goal to put online administrative services into operation.

Despite the serious impacts of COVID-19, Quang Ninh still kept a high number of enterprises at nearly 20,000 with the total investment capital of $8.9 billion. Not only increasing in number, the business community in the province also grows steadily in both quality and scale.

The province is attracting many more prestigious local and international investors to help improve the infrastructure and transportation network, attract a fair amount of high-tech processing and manufacturing projects, and also promoting industrial zones.

By Thu Le and Phuong Dung

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional