Training Workshop For The Highlands Region On “Best Practices In Improving Local Business Environment: Experiences On Implementing The District And Departmental Level Competitiveness Index (DDCI)
Aug 08, 2017
The workshop welcomed the participation of representatives of the business associations coming from the provinces in the Highlands and Southeast regions, including Lam Dong, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dong Nai, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan and Binh Phuoc as well as representatives from VCCI branches.
The first session started with the presentation of PCI experts on general assessments on the impacts of implementing DDCI, introducing DDCI models implemented across the country, as well as sharing VCCI’s notes on DDCI method through its experience in implementing PCI and supporting provinces to do DDCI for the past time.
The second session was run with presentations and discussions themed “What model is suitable for provinces?” Mr. Nguyen Huu Thap – Chairman of Business Association of Tuyen Quang province that was a pioneer in implementing DDCI had a speech on creativity and proactivity in building a dialogue channel with local authorities. Learning from the experience of Tuyen Quang and Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh successfully implemented and launched Bac Ninh DCI in 2016. A representative from Bac Ninh – Mr. Nguyen Phuong Bac – Head of Bac Ninh Institute for Socio-economic Development Studies– shared the province’s experience in implementing DDCI by an independent agency as a tool to promote reforms. In his presentation, Mr. Bac provided quite specific guidance for the provinces in the implementation of DDCI, from the criteria to select sub-indices, methods of index construction, how to conduct a survey and when should be an ideal time to launch the survey results. In addition, he also pointed out some difficulties and challenges in dealing with negative reactions during the implementation. On the survey results of Bac Ninh DCI 2016, Mr. Bac emphasized on the high rate of enterprises that were not happy when doing business at the province, expressing that more efforts would be needed to substantially remove difficulties for firms. He also added that the more independently the survey was carried out, the more accurate and credible the survey results would be. At the training workshop, Mr. Duong Trong Khang – Chairman of Vinh Phuc Business Association affirmed the active role of business association with a gentle but effective approach in implementing DDCI. With the huge support of the provincial people’s committee (PPC), Vinh Phuc Business Association earned the trust from both provincial leaders and firms. The Association actively studied on how best implement DCI to evaluate the performance of provincial civil servants and authorities in improving business environment for the local business community, which focused more on the sense of responsibility, attitude and capacity of public officials that are performing business related tasks. To do so, Vinh Phuc Business Association sent out the survey questionnaires, encouraged firms to answer, and patiently provided guidance for firms to fill in the survey questionnaires. Given these efforts, the survey response rate reached about 50 to 60%. On the method of implementation, Vinh Phuc Business Association used a questionnaire with minimized unnecessary questions to get the best results.
Speaking at the workshop, the representative from Quang Ninh – Ms. Vu Kim Chi – Vice Head of IPA Quang Ninh emphasized that DDCI was an effective tool to promote reforms employing a top-down approach. Quang Ninh decided to build DDCI thanks to the encouragement of PCI team with the aim to voice out the expectations of the business community in addition to business cafés or meetings and dialogues. Besides, Ms. Kim Chi also shared difficulties and challenges during the implementation process, expressing the determination of Quang Ninh in implementing DDCI through promoting it via social media (by creating fan pages, updating news on IPA website…); inspiring provincial leaders to secure their approvals; consulting and taking advantages of support from PCI project. As for Bac Giang, Mr. Tran Duc Khiem – Director of IPA Bac Giang – affirmed that DDCI was an effective tool to monitor the administrative procedure reforms of local branches and departments. Along with efforts of the implementing agency, Bac Giang built DDCI based on consulting and receiving technical support from PCI experts.
During 3 years from 2015 to 2017, Bac Giang sent out 800 copies of questionnaire and received almost 300 responses every year. Mr. Khiem stressed that selecting firms for the survey was a very important step. The DCI Bac Giang also paid more attention to evaluating the attitude and performance of the departmental/district leaders through meetings with business which were held by business associations with the participation of Provincial People’s Committee’s Chairman and Provincial Party’s Committee’s Secretary.
Participants from the provincial business associations had an exciting Q&A session, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the DDCI models and seeking to find a suitable model for their province. The workshop was assessed to be successful that provided very useful and practical information for participants.