Quang Ninh named most competitive province for sixth straight year
Northern Vietnam's Quang Ninh province topped the annual Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) in 2022 for the sixth consecutive year with a score of 72.95 out of 100.
The PCI 2022, released by the VCCI and USAID on Tuesday, is the 18th edition of the ranking based on the business environment and improvements to administrative procedures in cities and provinces across Vietnam.
Quang Ninh topped the list in terms of economic management quality with innovations in investment attraction and administrative reforms. The province, home to Halong Bay, also made strong efforts to utilize public investment per the public-private partnership (PPP) model to drive private investment.
Bac Giang, another northern province, came second with a score of 72.8. The business community highly rated Bac Giang for its consistent policy of “accompanying businesses”.
Hai Phong ranked third with a score of 70.76. The northern coastal city has established a working group to aid administrative procedures of major tourism projects.
Fourth position belonged to Ba Ria-Vung Tau with a score of 70.26, thanks to the southern coastal province’s efforts to attract high-quality investments and facilitate businesses.
Dong Thap was in fifth position with a score of 69.98, the 16th year in a row that the Mekong Delta province has reached the top five. Dong Thap’s key achievements were “4.0 processing Saturdays”, “On-demand administrative processing space”, “Meeting with entrepreneurs and cafe”, and others.
Other top rankings in the PCI 2022 were the provinces of Thua Thien-Hue, Bac Ninh, and Vinh Phuc.
This year, the VCCI and USAID have launched a new tool to spur green economic growth, namely the Provincial Green Index. The Green Index evaluates and ranks provinces’ environmental policy from the perspective of businesses with the goal of promoting better business practices and an eco-friendly business environment that attracts green investment. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris first announced USAID’s support for developing a Green Index to rally the private sector to climate action during her 2021 trip to Vietnam.
The Green Index will be published as part of the annual PCI, supported by USAID since its inception in 2005.
The PCI 2022 was conducted while the business community was facing hardships during the post-Covid-19 recovery, negative impacts of the global economic slowdown, geopolitical instability, an energy crisis, financial-banking trouble, high inflation, reduced global consumption, and others, said VCCI chairman Pham Tan Cong.
“Only 35% of private businesses and 33% of foreign-invested enterprises eye to expand their operations in the next two years,” Cong said.
The PCI 2022, featuring responses from nearly 12,000 firms, has a median score of 65.22, the sixth increase in a row, indicating that provincial authorities have improved their management over time. Additionally, the processing of administrative procedures has accelerated, helping firms reduce costs related to legal procedures and inspections.
Another improvement is a downtrend in unofficial fees. The ratio of firms allocating over 10% of the revenue for unofficial fees went down from 9.1% in 2016 to 3.8% in 2022.
Transparency, especially related to planning documents, is better, though not yet to an “easy” level for the majority of businesses, Cong added.