Mekong Delta Remains the Top Performer in the 2018 PCI
On April 17, 2019, in light of the release of the 2018 Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) held a diagnostic workshop for provinces in the Mekong Delta region, as part of its efforts to promote PCI as an effective tool to improve the quality of business environment at the provincial level. The workshop was conducted by the PCI team in cooperation with VCCI Branch in Can Tho, with the participation of nearly 60 delegates representing various government agencies, business associations, and investment promotion centers from almost provinces and cities in the region.
The first half of the workshop focused on analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the region. Over the years, the Mekong Delta region has made significant improvement in terms of its economic governance and business environment. In the 2018 PCI, the region has once again been ranked at the top with an average PCI score of 64.31, 0.91 points higher than last year. In particular, 4 provinces were listed in the top 10 and 3 made their way to the top 5. However, despite its high ranking, the region still faces many challenges such as high entry costs for business start-ups, lack of transparency in doing business, excessive bureaucratic procedures, etc. Furthermore, the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the region is still low, only at US$21.5 billion.
The workshop also served as a platform for representatives from provinces with high PCI scores to share their lessons and experience in the process of improving business environments in their respective provinces, thereby improving their PCI scores. Ms. Pham Ngoc Dao, Vice Director of Department of Planning and Investment of Dong Thap province, shared that the province’s leaders always try to listen to the problems and challenges of enterprises and work with them to come up with a solution. Similarly, Mr. Nguyen Van Quang, Chairman of Vinh Long People’s Committee, suggested bringing provincial People’s Council, People’s Committee, and National Assembly delegates together when dealing with businesses’ problems in order to save time and transaction costs. Speaking on behalf of An Giang province, Mr. Nguyen Trong Thanh, Vice Director of Department of Natural Resources and Environment of An Giang province, said that the province has diversified their sources of capital and implemented several long-term solutions to better help businesses get access to land, such as to transfer or sub-lease inefficient agricultural land from farmers and re-lease them to enterprises. Dong Thap, Vinh Long and An Giang ranked 2nd, 8th and 28th respectively on the 2018 PCI ranking .
Mr. Dau Anh Tuan, Director of the PCI Project, concluded the workshop by summarizing the limitations that provinces and cities in the region can improve on immediately. These include transport and logistics infrastructure, business support services, and labor training. The business environment in each province would be significantly better if leaders are dedicated enough and always have enterprises’ benefits in mind, he added.
PCI Research Team