While the Covid-19 pandemic continues to cast a shadow on the local economy, the city’s efforts in steering the economic growth back on track have achieved positive results and appreciated by the business community, according to Director of Hanoi SME Support Center Le Van Quan.
|Enterprises apply for administrative procedures at the Department of Planning and Investment. Photos: Khac Kien
“In the first three months of the year, the local authorities had held multiple meetings and dialogues with enterprises and business households to listen to their feedback and concern,” Quan wrote in a note.
These meetings, later, had translated into specific actions to support enterprises overcoming current difficulties from the Covid-19 pandemic, including online business registration, cutting time for investment and registration procedures for foreign firms by eight days compared to current regulations, integrating four supporting services to aid enterprises during the process of business registration.
“Such efforts helped Hanoi maintain its 9th rank among Vietnam’s top 10 business-friendly localities in the 2020 Provincial Competitiveness Index,” Quan added.
Meanwhile, local authorities have called for credit institutions to waive, freeze and reduce interest payment for customers affected by the pandemic, along with providing new loans with preferential rates.
|A business networking event held by Hanoi SME Support Center
Quan referred to a short-term credit package with low interest rates of the BIDV worth VND10 trillion (US$433.28 million) forsmall and medium enterprises; a similar program from VietinBank for individual customers and micro enterprises. He also mentioned SHB support program consisting of extending a credit package worth VND6 trillion (US$260 million) for enterprises to invest or expand new businesses.
For the coming time, Quan expected Hanoi to continue focusing on improving the business/investment environment, saying this is a key solution to help enhance the city’s competitiveness.
Among key measures, Quan noted local authorities should be active in addressing concerns of the business community in a timely manner rather than waiting for enterprises to raise their them.
“The support is especially important related to large scale investment projects financed by both state and private funds,” he added.
Meanwhile, he stressed the needs to maintain the supporting programs for newly-established enterprises to help them save unnecessary cost and time in realizing administrative procedures.
While the city continues pushing for administrative reform, Quan, however, pointed out the importance of raising public’s awareness on the benefits of such process, especially in the adoption of public online services at advanced stages.
“This would help increase the rate of firms and citizens using public online services,” Quan asserted.
Quan also suggested the government should further extend its supporting program in waiving and freezing taxes and fees for enterprises, at the same time expanding new markets to boost trade turnover.
As of March 31, the number of enterprises resuming operation was estimated at nearly 3,900, a surge of 99% year-on-year, raising the number of enterprises operating in Hanoi to 308,655.
This year,Hanoi is expected to allocate over VND250 billion (US$11 million) to carry out supporting programs for enterprises, including trade and tourism promotion program; legal support for enterprises; supporting firms to register for intellectual property rights; training human resources for SMEs; among others.