The Mekong Delta provinces of Dong Thap, Long An, Ben Tre made considerable progresses in the index.

Business community lauded reform efforts made by provinces of Binh Duong, Quang Nam, Vinh Long, Ho Chi Minh City and particularly Hanoi.

Hanoi was for the first time named among the top 10 cities and provinces in terms of governance quality and business-friendly environment, a step closer to the goal of becoming a top competitive city in ASEAN in the near future.

Quang Ninh once more tops the PCI rankings.

Head of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s Department of Legal Affairs Dau Anh Tuan said unofficial costs, especially petty corruption, have decreased significantly while business environment has become fairer. Efforts in administrative reform and anti-corruption proved effective with reduction in overlapping inspections and authorities of localities becoming more active and creative.

Tuan said firms’ optimism over business environment remains high. Up to 49.3 percent of surveyed enterprises said they will expand their operations, 42.4 percent will maintain the current scale while only 8.3 percent will scale down or shut down operations.

However, he admitted that 58 percent of domestic businesses still face bureaucracy, and 40 percent said provinces still prioritize State and foreign-invested firms over private ones. Around 30 percent said they still meet difficulties in applying for business certificates and other licences in line with regulations.

Administrative procedures remain burdensome, especially those related to land, taxation, social insurance, market management and transportation. Transparency does not improve much while workforce quality and corporate support services are limited, he said.

Prof. Edmund Malesky from the US’s Duke University, head of the PCI building group, said while Vietnam aims to enhance the linkage between domestic and FDI enterprises, domestic firms have yet to participate deeply in the global value. He noted a problem that firms lack trust in courts and conflict settlement mechanisms in Vietnam.

Chairman of the Quang Ninh provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long said the province was able to keep the top position thanks to drastic reform efforts. 

The province has built an independent investment promotion agency in support of investors, held dialogues between businesspeople and authorities, and launched the district and department competitiveness index, he said.

Source: VNA