Hanoi striving to improve Provincial Competitiveness Index hinh anh 1A corner of Hanoi (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The People’s Committee of Hanoi recently directed its departments and sectors to focus on improving the city’s Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI).

According to the 2021 PCI rankings announced by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) on April 27, Hanoi ranked 10th among the 63 provinces and cities, down one notch compared to that in 2020 and 2019, but up 14 places against 2015 and 41 against 2012.

Last year, among the 10 sub-indexes, eight reported improvements, with that related to “Labour training” ranking first in the nation, up three places, and “Business support services” sub-index rising nine steps to the fourth place.

Two reporting decreases were the “unofficial costs” sub-index down three notches to the 29th place, and the transparency and access to information falling 23 steps to the 57th place.

To better the PCI index, the municipal People’s Committee asked departments, sectors and districts to take measures to improve sub-indexes reporting decreases, and those having low ranks.

The committee urged the municipal Department of Information and Communications to expand the application of information technology (IT) in the operation of State agencies, focus on developing the e-government, and build and implement several programmes and projects such as “Hanoi digital transformation programme by 2025, with a vision to 2030”, “Building a smart Hanoi by 2025, with a vision to 2030”, and “Hanoi’s e-government”.

The Office of the municipal People’s Committee, departments, sectors, and People’s Committees of districts and towns were required to publicise information on their websites and e-portals, and update and have clear guidance on the city’s construction and land use planning, socio-economic development plans, decisions, policies and administrative procedures.

Since 2005, the VCCI and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have cooperated to produce the annual PCI report to measure the quality of economic management, the level of convenience and friendliness of the business environment, and administrative reform efforts made by provincial governments, thus promoting the development of the private sector.

According to VCCI Chairman Pham Tan Cong, the PCI reports over the last 17 years have attested to the persistence and efforts of the Government, sectors and localities, and the business community in objectively and transparently recognising the improvement of the provincial-level business environment.

The PCI survey in 2021 shows that, in the context of difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the quality of provincial economic management in Vietnam is continuing to improve, Cong said.

Administrative reform has had positive changes, with increased efficiency and effectiveness at local levels. Anti-corruption efforts are also working to reduce the informal cost burden on businesses.

However, provincial authorities still need to step up the settlement of administrative procedures in the online environment, focusing on the fields of taxation, land, social insurance, the environment, construction, fire prevention and control, and market management, Cong stressed.

The PCI 2021 report also delves into the challenges faced by private enterprises and foreign-invested enterprises, including how they responded to COVID-19 as well as their assessment of pandemic prevention measures implemented by local authorities.

Addressing the event to announce the index, US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E.Knapper emphasised that the US government is proud to have worked with the VCCI over the past 17 years to help the PCI become an important tool for investors looking for opportunities in Vietnam.

This tool has stimulated improvements in the quality of economic governance in localities, thereby unlocking the door to private-sector-led growth, he said.

The northern coastal province of Quang Ninh ranked first the 2021 PCI rankings, making 2021 the fifth year in a row it has topped the charts.

The province was followed by its neighbouring Hai Phong city, the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, and the central city of Da Nang./.