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Vietnam needs a task force to promote business environment reform
Phi Nhat 17:39, 2021/01/26
The reform for the business environment is required to bring benefits for local businesses and people in the coming time.

Economist Nguyen Dinh Cung has proposed the Government to set up a task force to consel the Prime Minister on reforming and enhancing business environment.

He made the proposal at the workshop on “Reform for an Enabling Business Environment Better Competitiveness: Achievements, Lessons and Orientations for 2021-25” held in Hanoi recently.

 An overview of the workshop on January 21 in Hanoi. Photo: Phi Nhat

“We lack a pioneer unit to promote reform, quality researches to support reform solutions, and resources and aids from donors,” Mr. Cung, who is a member of the Economic Advisory Group to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, said. 

He said it is needed to create the best favorable conditions for private sector with all barriers removed, supporting them modernizing technologies, developing human resources and improving labor productivity.

“We must encourage the formation and development of large private economic groups, which have strong potentials and regional and international competitiveness. We will strive to have at least two millions of businesses contributing 60%-65% into GDP by 2030,” Mr. Cung said.

Speaking at the workshop, Ms. Nguyen Minh Thao, Head of the Department of Business Environment and Competitiveness Research under the CIEM said that Vietnam has achieved significant  results from reforming the business environment and enhancing national competitiveness in the 2014-2020 period. Specifically, more than 30 documents stipulating business conditions were issued and more than 50% of business conditions were adjusted by the end of 2019.

Being of the same mind, Mr. Cung said Vietnam had many experiences and lessons to map out effective policies and solutions on reforming institutions and improving the business environment .

Dr. Cung noted that the reform's achievements could be reversed if the government, ministries, branches and relevant units fail to maintain determination and efforts in the  reform.

So far, there are still many unnecessary and unreasonable business conditions that may lead to the harassment and red tape of state management agencies, Ms. Thao said. Therefore, the government has issued Resolution No. 02 on improving the business environment and enhancing national competitiveness with four key solutions to overcome the issues.

The solutions emphasize enhancing coordination among government agencies and bodies. Strengthening the application of information technology and building a digital government towards digital transformation in state management is another measure; The solutions  include realizing sustainable development goals, which include investment in sustainable business, environmental protection, climate change adaptation and job creation for vulnerable groups.

The solutions also contemplate supporting businesses to restore their operations, overcome the negative impacts of the pandemic.

Vietnam should boost the completion of  e-government building to avoid physical contact in the  handling of administrative procedures as well as create the synchronization of the entire system that will effectively improve the business environment, according to Ms. Nguyen Thi Viet Anh, Deputy Director General of Business Registration Management Agency under the Ministry of Investment and Planning.

Mr. Dau Anh Tuan, Head of the Legal Department under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry told Hanoitimes about Vietnam’s efforts to reform the business investment environment in the past and his recommendations in the coming time.

 Mr. Dau Anh Tuan, Head of the Legal Department

How would you comment on Vietnam’s results from reforming the business investment environment in the past?

Vietnam has recorded significant changes in reforming the business environment in the 2015-2020 period. Vietnam's business environment has been upgraded through the issuance of Resolutions 19 and 02 on business environment reform in terms of tax and customs procedures, specialized inspection, access to electricity which is deemed as the highlight in the past five years of administrative reform. 

However, streamlining a number of business conditions is still not strong and drastic. Specialized inspections are still rampant. Judicial reform still faces many difficulties. Implementation of the Resolution No.02 in localities is still confused. The market entry index improved but need a breakthrough in the coming time.

Vietnam's goal is to be among the top four ASEAN countries in terms of business environment, but it has not been fulfilled so far.

What is the reason for which Vietnam has not become one of the top four ASEAN countries in terms of business environment?

Through reviewing and learning from experience, Vietnam has made strong changes in recent years, but still needs further improvement in comparison with other countries. The process of reform requires persistence and should be conducted in phases with a synchronous process.

In recent years, some ministries have been very active in promoting the reform of administrative procedures. However, some others are still not interested in this process. 

How could Vietnam reach its goal in the coming time?

The country needs a new approach, not only to remove difficulties but to create a favorable business environment. Institutional reform is the foundation for the development of businesses in the coming period. In the process of integration and fair competition, the advantage of administrative procedures should be in the interest of businesses so that they could compete with other countries.

Experiences from reforming the business environment showed the need for innovation from the lowest level as well as the role of the local government should be enhanced. The dynamism of the localities play a very important role. A number of new models suitable to practical needs are suggested such as centralized public administration center; the café business programs, and government-business dialogues.

Thank you for your time.

TAG: business environment task force CIEM
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