Bắc Giang’s authority pledges timely resolution of difficulties for businesses and investors

Thursday, Jun 06, 2024 17:01

A production line in a factory owned by Bắc Giang Import-Export Joint Stock Co. —VNA/VNS Photo

The Bắc Giang Provincial People's Committee held a conference titled "Meeting with Bắc Giang's business community" on Wednesday.

The event provided an opportunity for the provincial leaders to directly listen to the opinions, proposals, and recommendations from businesses and entrepreneurs in the northern province, aiming at building effective and practical solutions to address the difficulties and obstacles faced by investors and businesses.

During an open discussion at the conference, businesses and investors raised several issues and concerns about credit loans and the province's administrative procedures.

Nguyễn Văn Cường, vice chairman of the Bắc Giang Business Association said the province's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) still face considerable challenges in accessing credit, with the primary reason being the complicated loan approval procedures, which take a long time to complete.

Nguyễn Tiến Đạt, director of the Tân Đạt General Trading Import Export Co said most businesses find it difficult to obtain long-term loans and often have to resort to short-term financial tools. He suggested several solutions to help businesses access long-term loans with preferential interest rates to facilitate production.

Regarding administrative procedures, many businesses reported difficulties in dealing with investment, land and construction protocols.

Ngô Văn Khánh, chairman and CEO of Bắc Giang Import-Export Joint Stock Co, highlighted that the coordination and handling of administrative procedures by authorities were not strict, often allowing officials to avoid responsibility. As a result, procedures related to obtaining construction permits, operating licenses, and business licenses for foreign enterprises in industrial clusters remain difficult, resulting in ready factories that cannot operate due to pending permits.

Business representatives said that the responsible agencies sometimes lack clear guidance when resolving specific administrative procedures. All it took at times was one department issuing an unjustified refusal for their superior office to issue a non-approval response, without clarifying whether the refusal was appropriate or not in the first place.

Many businesses said they have been struggling to resolve issues related to land clearance. As most projects do not fall under state land recovery, investors are required to negotiate with landowners, leading to potentially significant delays.

Businesses also suggested policies to support market access and development both domestically and internationally, specifically by enabling companies to develop investment projects linked to value chains from production to product consumption.

Timely resolution

Lê Ánh Dương, chairman of the provincial people's committee said the business community has long been a major contributor to the province's socio-economic development.

Dương said the province acknowledged that many businesses currently face challenges due to global conditions and a sluggish real estate market and that new policies and regulations have a significant impact on businesses. He urged businesses to cooperate with the province during these times of regulatory changes.

He said the provincial authority is aware that some officials avoid responsibilities and try to do as little as possible. He said the province has been working on solutions to rectify this mindset and improve the work ethics and accountability of civil servants.

He said with relatively modern and high-quality infrastructure, especially in road transport and an expanding urban centre, the province has an excellent investment environment to offer.

Bắc Giang has ranked consistently among the top of the country in several key indices, attracting a large amount of foreign direct investment and new industrial complexes. The conductive environment has created favourable conditions for business growth and expansion.

The province has also been working on addressing its major weakness in trade and services by seeking out investors who can improve these areas.

He said the province has tasked responsible departments with coming up with solutions based on newly issued regulations as complex issues that require the central government's consult can be sent to central authorities.

Regarding foreign business concerns on taxes and administrative procedures, he instructed relevant departments to address specific issues. For credit loans, he assigned the State Bank of Việt Nam's Bắc Giang branch to direct commercial banks to increase engagement with businesses, facilitate loan disbursements, and focus on businesses with substantial contributions.

On land and construction issues, he assigned the province's Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Department of Construction to coordinate in resolving problems. For investment licensing in industrial clusters, the Department of Construction must consider whether to delegate authority to districts, avoiding redundant appraisals by both provincial and district authorities.

The chairman highlighted the importance of civil servant training, replacing or transferring those who poorly advise and serve businesses. Departments and localities should provide online and hybrid training sessions to better support businesses on regulations and procedures during operations.

He encouraged businesses to voice their opinions and difficulties via numerous business associations in the province, which serve as intermediaries between businesses and the government. Monthly and quarterly, the associations should compile business difficulties, recommendations, and proposals for the province to address promptly. All it took at times was one department issuing an unjustified refusal for their superior office to issue a non-approval response, without clarifying whether the refusal was appropriate or not in the first place. All it took at times was one department issuing an unjustified refusal for their superior office to issue a non-approval response, without clarifying whether the refusal was appropriate or not in the first place. — VNS

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