Overview of the conference to launch PCI 2017 report (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The northeastern province of Quang Ninh, for the first time ever, became the most competitive locality in the country, topping Vietnam’s Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2017.

In the PCI 2017 report jointly launched on March 22 in Hanoi by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the city gained the top score of 70.7 on a 100 point scale.

The report has been produced annually since 2005 to assess the ease of doing business, economic governance, and administrative reform efforts by the provinces and cities in Vietnam in order to promote the development of the private sector.

The 2017 PCI Report is the 13th iteration and is based on responses from 12,000 enterprises, including more than 10,200 domestic private enterprises from 63 cities and provinces and nearly 1,800 foreign invested enterprises in 21 provinces in the country.

According to the report, Quang Ninh was followed closely by Da Nang (70.1 points) and Dong Thap (68.8 points). 

Other provinces and cities that found themselves in the good PCI tier are Lao Cai, VinhPhuc, Hanoi, Binh Duong, Thai Nguyen, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, and BacNinh.

Positive improvements have been the dominant trend in Vietnam’s business environment for the past year, said VCCI Chairman Vu TienLoc during the launch of the report.

“Provinces and cities have actively implemented the directives of the Prime Minister, learning to employ good practices and experience from top performers in order to improve their local business environment,” Loc said.

“The PCI report has been very influential in promoting transparency and good economic governance in Vietnam. We look forward to continued strong economic growth and prosperity in the years ahead,” said US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kristenbrink.

According to Dau Anh Tuan, Director of the VCCI’s Legal Department, the 2017 PCI report witnessed impressive reform efforts by local government across the country.

Many governance areas have been improved in 2017 to remove obstacles for businesses. Informal charges have been on the decline, the business environment has been more equal, and the administrative procedures have been simplified, he said.

The 2017 PCI survey revealed optimism among the private and foreign business communities helped raise their economic prospects.

Fifty-two percent of PCI 2017 respondents in the domestic survey said they planned to increase the size of their operations over the next two years, the highest level since 2011, while the number of firms planning on scaling down or closing their business was extremely low at 8 percent.-VNA