HCM City chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong
"While the city has been trying to improve our business environment and create better conditions for investors, this case have washed away our efforts."
At the meeting, chairman Phong expressed his concerns at the city’s fall in Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index, to 47th out of 63 cities and provinces, down 29 places compared with 2011.
"Meanwhile, our Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) also dropped from 4th place in 2014 to 6th in 2015. While our PCI transparency rating has dropped 4th to 17th place," he added.
The chairman described the figures as alarming and catastrophic.
"We’re here to talk about improvements but we haven't made any improvements at all," Phong stressed. "You heads of the departments and agencies should feel alarmed at these numbers."
There may be many reasons for HCM City’s falling rankings. But Phong has pointed out one obvious cause through the wrongful prosecution in Binh Chanh District.
"It has seriously affected the city’s competitiveness indices related to building a healthy and transparent investment environment," he explained.
The case may have had a good ending with the victim of an injustice being protected and some officials being punished, but the overall affect has been to damage the perception of the city’s business environment and trigger a fall in confidence in the city’s civil servants.