VN needs business environment reform breakthrough

Thursday, Dec 06, 2018 08:16

Phan Duc Hieu, CIEM deputy director.

Viet Nam still needs to make more reforms to achieve sustainability in economic growth, five years after implementing Government Resolution 19 on improving the business environment and enhancing national competitiveness. Phan Duc Hieu, deputy director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) spoke to Vietnam News Agency about this issue.

How do you review the implementation of Government Resolution 19 on improving the national business environment and competition?

Resolution 19 started to be implemented from 2014. Since then, the quality of the national business environment has begun to improve according to World Bank (WB) indicators. There are some very good indicators such as the getting electricity indicator at the top 30 at present from around 150th-160th and the indicator of protecting minority investors up to 80th position from being unlisted before.

However, Viet Nam has not gained the Government’s goal of becoming among the top four nations in terms of quality business environment in ASEAN (ASEAN 4).

After five years of implementing Resolution 19, we have seen the Government’s determination to boost reforms.

For designing the reform programme, before, Viet Nam implemented reforms according to measures set by Viet Nam itself but did not provide clear results that showed how the Vietnamese business environment improved.

Therefore, since implementing the Resolution 19, the Government has set up the reform programme according to the WB’s measures instead of its measures as before because the reform programme has evaluation criteria.

Meanwhile, the efforts of ministries and sectors have also played an important role in the reforms. The reform programme would struggle to achieve good results without those efforts.

Viet Nam has lost one spot from last year on the WB’s ease of doing business report and three spots on the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Competitiveness Report 2018, though it increased 1.59 points in an ease of doing business. What’s your opinion on these results?

So far, Viet Nam’s reform programme is set up based on criteria of the WB and the WEF to create incentives for sustainable reforms.

Viet Nam’s increase of points has shown the improvement of quality of the business environment but the reduction in place showed Viet Nam’s efforts in reform have not been higher than other countries, meaning Viet Nam has made efforts in reform but other countries have performed stronger than Viet Nam.

Therefore, Viet Nam must make more efforts in implementing the reforms next year, even more than countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

What does Viet Nam do to have sustainable growth in local economic development and catch up with reforms in leading regional countries?

At present, Viet Nam has more advantages in the implementation of institutional reform and improvement of quality in business environment than 10 years ago.

To hit goals in reform, Viet Nam needs to have breakthroughs in implementing the reform programmes.

Ministries and sectors during implementing Resolution 19 must set higher goals than the resolution’s requirements. If they waste the opportunity to reform the business environment now, the impact of the loss would be great. Because a reform programme could come back after between five and 10 years, meaning the nation will lose business opportunities and economic development chances while awaiting the next reform programme.

Viet Nam must improve indicators in business environment and competitive ability that are at low levels.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged ministries and sectors to devise solutions to improve indicators of competitive ability and business environment at low levels. What must they do to implement this direction?

State agencies must make more efforts to implement reforms according to Resolution 19.

In addition, the thinking of those agencies should be changed. They should think the implementation of the resolution is their responsibility for society, economic development and the country, but not to implement tasks under the Government’s requirements.

At the same time, the Government should handle ministries that don’t achieve its goals in implementing Resolution 19, including the leader of the ministry. — VNS

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