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PM acknowledges Vietnam still sluggish in reforms
Ngoc Thuy 13:33, 2019/11/06
Government agencies must be mindful in a situation where regional countries are accelerating efforts to improve their business environment, but Vietnam is still sluggish.

Vietnam’s pace of reform is slower compared to other countries, according Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the meeting. Source: VGP. 

Phuc made the statement at a monthly government meeting on November 5, referring to the World Bank 2020 Ease of Doing Business ranking that shows Vietnam continued to move down one notch from the 69th to 70th out of 190 economies, although its score improved slightly compared to a year earlier.

Phuc noted improvements are needed in indicators such as starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, trading across borders, and resolving insolvency.

“Government agencies must be mindful in a situation where regional countries are accelerating efforts to improve their business environment, but ours become stagnant,” Phuc said.

Phuc added the lack of responsibility and the hesitancy in resolving difficult issues only worsens the situation.

Phuc also warned of complacency in state management in the remaining months of this year, saying the government must focus on achieving all socio-economic targets in 2019, laying the foundation for growth momentum next year.

This is particularly important for sectors that have been the highlights of the economy, including manufacturing and processing, exports, and FDI attraction.

Nevertheless, there remain challenges, including external risks, to Vietnam’s socio-economic development, potentially causing negative impacts on Vietnam’s trade, investment and foreign exchange policies, Phuc warned, expecting a more cautious approach in managing the monetary and forex policies.

Phuc requested the Ministry of Industry and Trade to fully assess the current trade war friction to prevent the economy from experience any shock and continue utilizing efficiently free trade agreements and diversifying markets.

The Ministry of Finance is tasked with following the stock market and movements of investment inflows, particularly foreign indirect investment, at the same time continue reforming the administrative procedures in taxation. 

The State Bank of Vietnam, the country’s central bank, is asked to continue monitoring international monetary markets, in order to ensure stability of the foreign exchange market.

Phuc urged the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to step up efforts to prevent the spread of African swine fever and remove the European Commission’s yellow card imposed on Vietnam’s fishing industry.

Phuc asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to finalize the national strategy on the Industry 4.0, and submit Vietnam’s next strategy for FDI attraction to the government.

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