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Major economic centers see edge blunter in 2022 PCI rankings

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Four out of the country’s five centrally-governed cities saw significant drops in competitiveness rankings in the 18th Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) report, which was released yesterday, April 11.

Danang City saw its PCI plunging five notches to the 9th place, while Can Tho tumbled from the 12th place in the previous year to the 19th position. Hanoi City performed poorer, sliding 10 notches to the 20th place, and HCMC fared the worst among major cities, from the 14th place in the previous year to the 27th this time.

The annual PCI report ranks the competitiveness of 63 provinces and cities on a 100-point scale, based on the responses of local businesses on ten indicators, namely entry costs, land access, transparency, time costs, informal charges, policy bias, proactivity, business support policy, labor training and law and order.

Of the five centrally-governed cities, Haiphong City ranked third in the report, down by one notch.

The northern province of Quang Ninh has continued to top the PCI rankings since 2017. Its outstanding performance is reportedly attributed to substantial efforts in administrative reform and investment attraction.

Dau Anh Tuan, director of the Vietnam PCI program under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said the declines of major cities in the PCI rankings were due to more economic challenges and their failure to meet expectations on administrative reform.

Some 54.5% of firms noted that they paid informal charges to officials upon tax inspection activities, increasing from 33.8% in 2021, according to the survey.

Data showed that there has been no fundamental improvement in local companies’ operations since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Still, the report noted that the business community has pinned hopes on Vietnam’s economic prospects.

Vietnam’s PCI report collects business perceptions on the country’s economic governance and administrative reform efforts in 63 provinces and cities.

This year, VCCI received responses from 11,872 businesses, including 10,590 domestic firms and 1,282 foreign-invested ones.

The report is a joint effort between the VCCI and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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