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VCCI plans to add environment as PCI criterion

Monday, 10/04/2017

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) is mulling adding the environment as a new criterion for the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2017.

It is important to improve the PCI criteria, Dau Anh Tuan, head of the legal department at VCCI, told the Daily on the sidelines of a seminar held in Vinh Long City on Wednesday on the PCI rankings of the Mekong Delta provinces last year and lessons learned.

Tuan, who is also director of the provincial competitiveness improvement project, underscored the importance of retaining what constitutes the PCI and at the same time reflecting the fast-changing provincial business environment. Therefore, VCCI  reviews the PCI criteria in a period of 4-5 years, and 2017 is the time.

VCCI has sought comment from experts on each of the PCI criteria. VCCI is processing their suggestions for the PCI concerning safety, security and asset protection for investors, solutions to corporate disputes, environmental pollution and sustainable development.

Presenting the 2016 PCI in the Mekong Delta, Tuan said the average index score of the region increased in terms of regional comparison but the change was insignificant. A number of Mekong Delta provinces were still at the bottom of the PCI rankings.

However, Tuan pointed out six positive indicators in the delta. The region led the country in terms of access to land while having better administrative procedures, a fairer business environment for the private sector, and an active governance mechanism and ensuring a safer legal environment for business operations than other parts of the nation. Local firms paid fewer informal fees than their peers in other parts. 

Tuan however said the quality of labor training was the lowest in the country last year and employers had to struggle with staff recruitments. 

Tuan said 81% of businesses active in the delta said they were grappling with more difficulties than their counterparts elsewhere in the country when it came to finding managing directors and managers in the delta.

Tuan urged the Mekong Delta to improve the provision of information for businesses as transparency in this field in the region was not highly appreciated. The smaller firms are, the harder they can look for the information they need.

Tuan called for the provinces in the delta to further streamline administrative procedures and step up dialogues with firms as businesses participating in the PCI survey showed they were pleased with the governments willing to talk with them.  

Tuan noted the Mekong Delta provinces should pay more attention to the problems local enterprises are coping with and offer them timely support. The PCI 2016 survey indicated 62% of businesses in the region said they had difficulty searching for customers while 43% found it hard to gain access to loans.

Vo Hung Dung, director of VCCI in Can Tho City, shared Tuan's view, saying that outstanding loans in the Mekong Delta accounted for a mere 9% of the country’s total.

Dung said investment in infrastructure in the delta remains low. He gave an example that the My Thuan Bridge was opened to traffic in 2000 and it took 10 years for the delta to have a second major bridge - Can Tho.

Theo Saigon Times


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