Business Business

28/07/2017 - 10:30

The story of investment: Government - Enterprise synergy

In order to have a good and favorable investment environment, attracting large investors, apart from the necessary and sufficient conditions of resources, advantages, attitudes and policies of public authorities, it is necessary for enterprises to play the supporting and uniting role. Thua Thien Hue Weekends had a talk with the Director of the Department of Planning and Investment, Phan Thien Dinh about this issue.

Mr. Phan Thien Dinh. Photo: Phan Thanh

Investors coming to Hue have reckoned that Hue has great potentials and advantages to call for investment. It is a necessary condition for attracting investment. However, we also need to talk more about sufficient conditions, which are the fact that the policy’s mechanism has been much more open when the province has recently implemented a lot of activities to improve the investment environment, focusing on administrative reform and supporting enterprises.

Could you please elaborate more on this?

Any enterprise that needs to meet to discuss, recommend or reflect on some situations will be given priority by the provincial leaders to be listened and given directions to handle them timely. The provincial leaders’ viewpoint is to maximize the support for enterprises, to create the best conditions for them to operate their business effectively. Provincial leaders also regularly hold dialogues with enterprises in order to resolve difficulties for them. Besides a quite active inter-sector investment supporting force, which is helping investors complete the procedures when they come to Hue, many departments, branches and localities are ready to join in if the enterprises have requirements…

However, in the PCI Ranking list in 2016, the index of "The dynamism and pioneering of provincial government" we ranked 60/64 among provinces, cities ...

The "dynamism and pioneering of provincial government" index in 2016, besides the indicators that increase the score such as: the feeling of enterprises about the attitudes of the provincial government towards the private sector (rising by 4.6 points), the feeling of good initiatives at the provincial level but not good implementations in departments, increased by 1.48 points; there are decreasing indicators such as delaying implementation and directing and "doing nothing" going down by 11.04 points; provincial leaders having policy guidelines, but they are not yet implemented well at the district level: decreasing by 6.47 points.

This "feeling" of the business community does not contradict the points I have presented. It reflects more clearly the existing difficulties which the government should make efforts to remove and overcome.

Due to the geopolitical, cultural, historical characteristics, Thua Thien Hue’s development is closely linked to the consideration of conservation and development, many general development policies of the Central Government, when applied to Thua Thien Hue reveal inappropriate points.

There are issues related to urban planning, scenery and relics conservation... which are very sensitive, so we must get the public opinion, consult with the Central ministries or to debate or discuss to figure out the most approved solution, so it should take quite some time ...

Many problems in the policy relating to the specific nature of Thua Thien Hue have been addressed many times with the Central Government but there has not been any solutions as they are related to the provisions in the laws and decrees, which is affecting enterprises’ investment process.

The implementation of the guidelines and policies established by the province still has some shortcomings.

Is there any way to address the problem you just mentioned?

The Central Government has agreed to let the province to develop a project on the development policy of the heritage city of Hue. Hopefully, this will be an opportunity for the Central Government to allow the province to enjoy a number of specific policy mechanisms to facilitate the conservation management and development process in Thua Thien Hue; as well as to create more favorable conditions for investment and business activities of the enterprises’ community.

Tightening the administrative discipline, and further accelerating administrative reforms coupled with intensifying the change in attitudes of serving the enterprises of governmental officials at all levels and sectors are also an urgent need to change the "feeling" of the business community.

Is that enough to have a good investment environment?

There are, of course, many things that need to be done. How to have a good investment environment can’t be viable overnight. However, if there is determination, on the synchronization of the whole system of government, then it is not impossible.

We need to continue to plan clearer development directions, to define more specific conservation and development goals as a basis for calling for investment and for boosting enterprises’ advancement.

 

Some say that the investment climate, business and competitiveness of the economy is the duty of the government. What do you think about this statement?

Many people confuse the assessment of PCI with this environment. PCI aims at the specific objective of assessing the governance ability of the government. But if you read in the analysis of component indicators, towards the quality of the investment and business environment, we will see the presence of enterprises and business associations.

It is clear that in this story, the government plays an active role, responsible for navigating and creating the ecosystem needed. However, if enterprises do not join hands with the government to create the pressure for administrative reform, if they do not jointly build the necessary infrastructure, it is impossible to create a good business investment environment no matter how good the policies and the directions may be.

Enterprises today are following the trend of intensive investment and use each other's service chain. If the locality does not have the enterprises as partners to provide good services, a new investor will have a hard time deciding on whether to invest in that place or not.

So how has the business community reacted to this, sir?

Recently, business associations, including young businesses and other professional associations, have been consulted with public authorities and provincial leaders on the existing issues in the performance of their duties, such as resolutions to arising related issues for enterprises which are still slow, or some staff still working in the "administrative" mode, not being flexible ... Thanks to these reflections, the province has a basis to process and remind those agencies and individuals violating the regulations to support the enterprises more and more.

Many enterprises have actively invited those from other places to Hue to jointly invest in business. In addition to the efforts of the authorities, this is a very good sign of change for Thua Thien Hue's investment and business environment.

What are other solutions to make the investment environment better and limit the number of enterprises’ complaints about the public administration?

Some companies still hesitate to reflect with the governmental agencies on the existing problems; they even compromise with wrongdoings, so they were not detected timely.

To overcome these shortcomings, we are building a system for surveying the level of satisfaction of enterprises for some departments, sectors and one-office sector that enterprises frequently contact. Based on this result, in comparison with the results of VCCI, we will suggest that the province adopts measures to deal with those agencies that do not perform their tasks well, causing difficulties for enterprises; accordingly to make it easier for enterprises to access governmental agencies as well as to enhance the responsibility of relevant agencies’ officials.

Thank you for the conversation.

By Tam Hue

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