Southern Dong Nai province has so far this year seen the establishment of 900 new privately-owned startups, which have registered a total investment of over 3.3 trillion VND.

During the first two weeks of May alone, 69 new businesses were set up with a combined investment of 235 billion VND, reported the provincial Department of Planning and Investment.

By May 15, newly-registered and additional capital of people-run businesses in the locality had hit more than 6.6 trillion VND, said the Department.

Department Director Bo Ngoc Thu said the province is working to improve its competitiveness after its Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) was ranked 40 th in 2013 from 9 th in 2012.

The PCI plunge was blamed for the locality’s failure to strengthen its transparency, reduce market participation cost, and improve its dynamism.

To fix the situation, the department has proposed stepping up administrative reform, rolling out more support activities for businesses, especially private businesses.

Provincial departments and sectors were suggested to increase their publicity of information relating to State policies and guidelines to businesses.

In the first quarter of the year, the province’s Index of Industrial Production (IIP) increased by 7.1 percent, ranking third after northern Hai Phong city (11.3 percent) and central Da Nang city (10.5 percent).

Dong Nai is one of Vietnam’s key industrial zones. It has seen an average GDP growth rate of more than 13 percent in recent years.

It is also one of the country’s leading FDI receivers over the past years.

In the first five months of this year, Dong Nai ranked third FDI attraction, gathering 579.74 million USD in newly-registered and additional capital, according to the Foreign Investment Agency of the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

It targets to reel in around 900 million USD in FDI for the whole year.

The province has established an office to directly support foreign investors and provided small and medium-sized FDI enterprises with special assistance related to investment licences.

It will give priority to high-tech, environmentally friendly projects and those in the fields of services and infrastructure investment.-VNA