Vietnam’s provinces strive to become more attractive with BEE

Ecofarm has been a profitable venture in Vietnam’s Dong Thap province, resulted from the company’s sound investments and strong business enabling environment. It sells substantial volume of farm produce from 85 hectares of land harvested on a three-month planting cycle using high-tech practices. Until recently, business registration in this area was a time-consuming affair, making the opening of new businesses a chore. Ecofarm’s decision to open a branch in Dong Thap was encouraged by its ease of operating and investing in business. The province scored the second highest in the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), produced through a partnership with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and USAID. In general, Vietnamese businesses face many challenges due to the lack of local government support. The primary difficulties include significant delays in business registration, accessing to land matters, and paying taxes.

In an effort to promote Dong Thap as a destination for agricultural investment, local government leaders made many trips to Phu Quoc, where Ecofarm is headquartered. When Ecofarm first opened its business operations in 2015, local government continued to offer support and actively find out about obstacles to new businesses. Despite being located remotely with few geographic advantages, and relatively poor infrastructure compared to other provinces, Dong Thap witnessed a response to its efforts with much new business development, increasing by 28 percent in 2016 over 2015, higher than the national average of 16 percent. Dong Thap’s leaders set a policy goal to create a strong enabling government that serves people and businesses.


USAID’s Provincial Competitiveness Index project, 2013 to June 2019