The central city of Da Nang has once again topped Vietnam’s Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), finishing in first place in 2014, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and USAID announced on April 16.

Da Nang City scored 66.87 points, followed by southern Dong Thap province with 65.28 points and northern mountainous Lao Cai province with 64.67 points. Ho Chi Minh City ranked fourth with scored 62.73 points making it into the top five for the first time in ten years.

According to the PCI research group, Da Nang’s strong performance was buoyed by the successful organisation of its “Year of Da Nang Enterprises 2014” programme. During the year, practical activities were implemented to support businesses in the locality, promote administrative procedure reform and tackle difficulties facing companies.

The provinces of Quang Ninh, Vinh Phuc, Long An, Thai Nguyen, Kien Giang and Bac Ninh also made it into the top ten.

The average PCI score in 2014 rose to 58.58 points, an improvement from the 57.81 points averaged in 2013. This suggests a positive change in the management quality of the local authorities.

VCCI President Vu Tien Loc said that the thriving business climate experienced in provinces nationwide was the highlight of the PCI report.

He stressed that over 46 percent of the interviewed enterprises planned to enlarge their business scale in the next two years, up 32.5 percent from the figure in 2013. Up to 50 percent of FDI enterprises have the same intention.

The PCI report consiers a range of criteria, including land access for businesses, land use stability, transparency, an equal and competitive environment and legal support for firms.

Since 2005, the PCI survey has drawn the participation of nearly 80,600 private owned enterprises and 7,800 foreign enterprises.-VNA