As an observer of Vietnam’s economy over the past years, Mr. Grzegorz Rybarski, first counsellor of the Political and Economic Division under the Embassy of Poland in Hanoi, has talked to Hanoitimes about the economic development of the country and Hanoi in particular.
|Mr. Grzegorz Rybarski, First Counsellor, Political and Economic Division, Embassy of Poland in Hanoi. Photo: Embassy of Poland in Hanoi|
Business environment in Vietnam and Hanoi in particular
Vietnam’s economic development over the last several years has been remarkable. Country’s economy has transformed to a market-oriented economy which improves business environment by implementing important economic reforms. Macroeconomic stability is very important factor which attracts constant FDI inflows to Vietnam and foster the economy development.
While Vietnam, like many other countries, is exposed in 2020 to the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, its economy remains relatively resilient to external shocks. The country is strongly positioned to benefit from numerous free trade agreements. These agreements will remove trade and investment barriers and improve the business environment in Vietnam. For Poland and other European countries, the European-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is the most important tool to boost mutual economic cooperation.
The EVFTA marks the milestone in our strong and fruitful relationship which we have enjoyed for many years. This is a very good example of a win-win relationship which consolidates existing areas of cooperation and opens new perspectives.
Poland also takes advantage of the EVFTA. We have been enjoying good relations with Vietnam already for 70 years and we consider Vietnam one of the most important and promising markets for Polish companies in Southeast Asia. Polish is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and trade between our countries surpassed US$3.2 billion last year. We strongly believe it may be set to grow even more.
There is a strong Vietnamese community in Poland and on the other hand we are happy to have a quite big group of Vietnamese graduates of Polish universities now living in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi. They have good relations with Poland and many of them are involved in developing business or scientific cooperation between our countries.
Vietnam’s business environment is improving systematically along with adoption of global standards of doing business. It is reflected in various business surveys like Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) which offers the assessment of the economic governance quality of provincial authorities in creating a favorable business environment for the development of the private sector. Last year, Vietnam’s core PCI indicator reached 63.25, the highest achieved since 2005, reflecting the Government’s continuing efforts to reform economic governance by specifically targeting the provincial business environment to boost national competitiveness.
Hanoi, the capital, is one of the best places to do business in the country. Necessary administrative procedures can be easily done here and there are convenient transport connections. The PCI ranking also shows that of Hanoi's competitiveness index is improving every year.
What can Vietnam and Hanoi do to improve competitiveness?
Improvements of the business environment in Vietnam have been observed recently, but there is still room for more positive changes in the business climate, especially for foreign companies investing in Vietnam.
One of the most important issues is the equal treatment of all companies and economic subjects doing business in Vietnam, regardless which country they come from. Companies offering the same standard of services or quality of products should be treated equally within public tender procedures. We believe that implementation of the EVFTA will bring the equal treatment for foreign companies investing and doing business in Vietnam.
Simplifying investment and business procedures would be also of great importance. Some laws remain unclear, causing inconsistent interpretation by enterprises and authorities.
Another recommendation would be improvement of the infrastructure network, although a big progress has been made in this field. The most important issue is to develop infrastructure while keeping the natural environment protected.
Doing business requires also skilled and qualified managers as well as other staff and workforce. It would be essential to create strong academic centers for good business and scientific education in Vietnam.
Polish universities are ready to establish close cooperation with Vietnamese partners.