Vietnam Gov’t Vows To Improve Business Environment To Match Regional Leaders In 2015-16
The government of Vietnam plans to improve the country’s business environment so that most of its important indicators will catch up with those of top ASEAN countries between 2015 and 2016, according to a government resolution issued last week.
According to the resolution released March 12 on key tasks and solutions to improve the business environment and enhance national competitiveness in the 2015-2016 period, the local business environment’s indicators will surpass the average level of the ASEAN-6, a group of six smaller ASEAN economies including Vietnam, by the end of this year.
ASEAN stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
A number of key indicators will be raised to the minimum average level of the ASEAN-4 group, the top four biggest ASEAN economies, including Singapore, in accordance with international practice by the end of 2016, according to the resolution.
To achieve the targets, relevant state agencies are tasked with focusing on improving the business environment, promoting the reform of administrative procedures to shorten the time needed to complete them, reducing paperwork, and cutting costs for local businesses.
In addition, state administrative agencies will have to ensure transparency and accountability.
Moreover, there will be comprehensive reform of regulations on business conditions and professional management of goods and export-import services so that they will be consistent with international practice.
In particular, the tax payment time will be shortened to less than 121.5 hours per year, while the time to complete premium payments for social insurance will be less than 49.5 hours per year.
The percentage of local enterprises conducting electronic tax declarations will be over 95 percent, and the rate of electronic filings for corporate tax payment will be at least 90 percent.
Bui Quang Vinh, Minister of Planning and Investment, late last month told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper in an exclusive interview that 2015 should be considered the Year of Enterprises, during which actions must be taken to further improve the business environment for the sake of enterprises.
He stressed that only when the business climate is improved can authorities gain confidence in enterprises and thereby encourage them to invest their money in business.
The minister expressed his hope that the revised Enterprise Law and Investment Law, which were both approved by the National Assembly late last year, will create new momentum to boost investment in Vietnam by both domestic and international investors.
Besides the two amended laws, the country’s economic institutions should also be further renovated to better suit the business environment in Vietnam, he added.
Nguyen Dinh Cung, head of the Hanoi-based Central Institute for Economic Management, told newswire Tri Thuc Tre that Resolution No. 19, which was promulgated in March 2014 and the predecessor of the resolution passed last week, has yielded some fruitful results.
Resolution No.19, focusing on a number of measures to improve the business environment and enhance national competitiveness, was tailored for Vietnam to reach the average level of ASEAN-6 countries by the end of this year.
After a year of implementation, the business environment of Vietnam has made positive improvements, he said.
In particular, some important results have been achieved, for example the number of administrative procedures needed to start a business has been reduced from 10 to five, and the time to complete all of them has been shortened from 31 days to six days, Cung said.
The duration needed to pay tax and social insurance premiums has also been cut from 872 hours to about 400 hours, he said.
In terms of power, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Vietnam Electricity have built a chart to bring the time for power access to 36 business days.
2015 Should Be Year Of Enterprises: Vietnam Investment Minister
This year should be considered the Year of Enterprises, during which actions must be taken to further improve the business environment for the sake of enterprises, said Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh.
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Minister Vinh made the statement in an interview with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on the occasion of the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday that ended on Monday.
He stressed that only when the business climate is improved can authorities gain confidence in enterprises and thereby encourage them to invest their money into business.
The minister expressed his hope that the revised Enterprise Law and Investment Law, which were approved by the National Assembly late last year, will create new momentum to boost investment in Vietnam by both domestic and international investors.
Besides the two amended laws, the country’s economic institutions should also be further renovated to better serve the business environment in Vietnam, he added.
"I think it is necessary to suggest the year 2015 be set as the Year of Enterprises so that we can do more for the sake of enterprises. If enterprises cannot develop, then the national economy will not be able to develop either," the minister said.
Support for private businesses
Regarding foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam, Minister Vinh said FDI businesses accounted for 68 percent of the country’s total export turnover in 2014.
“From the view of attraction of foreign investment, this figure reflects success in the field, but considering the national economy’s health, it causes concern,” the minister said.
Although it is possible that Samsung’s products exported from Vietnam have “Made in Vietnam” labels, everybody thinks they are products of South Korea, he explained.
Therefore, domestic businesses should improve and become stronger so that they can apply foreign technologies to create products under Vietnamese brands, he said.
“In the long run, we should give more support to local businesses, especially those in the private sector. And private businesses must become the most important driving force of the national economy,” the minister said.
As regards support for the private economic sector, Vinh said his ministry will draft a bill on small- and medium-sized enterprises later this year to offer assistance to the development of private businesses in Vietnam.