e-Regulations expected to cut red tape, usher in transparency

Wednesday, Jul 22, 2015 15:50

Viet Nam has launched the e-Regulations system to better guide investors to go through business and investment processes. — Photo doisongphapluat.com

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The launch of an e-Regulations system is viewed by experts and users as a boost to Viet Nam's business and investment environment.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) conceived e-Regulations as a tool to help governments make rules and procedures fully transparent and facilitate business, trade, and investment.

The Foreign Investment Agency launched the third phase of the e-Regulations system last month, and it is available at vietnam.eRegulations.org in English, Japanese, and Chinese with step-by-step guidelines on investment procedures to help foreign investors in Viet Nam.

There is a summary of each procedure, with points such as institutions involved, expected results, requirements, average duration, and legal justification. At each step investors can see the contact details of bureaucrats in charge, forms and requirements, costs, duration, and legal provisions.

Do Nhat Hoang, director of the Foreign Investment Agency, said the system would ease difficulties for investors, enabling them to navigate Viet Nam's investment procedures and processes and comfortably do business in the country.

Phan Khac Nghiem, a lawyer with Minh Long Law Office, told online newspaper Dau Tu that the new system would make it convenient for investors, particularly foreign investors, to quickly search for information they need.

The e-Regulations do not only provide general information related to the establishment of businesses and amending investment certificates but also give specific information and a step-by-step description of investment processes and procedures in each participating locality, he said.

More specifically, investors can get information on rules and procedures through detailed, practical and up-to-date descriptions of the steps to follow at each industrial zone, he said.

Luu Quang Huy, who used to be Viet Nam's commercial counsellor in Japan, told the newspaper that the system, available in various languages, would help investors from different countries find information.

Japanese investors, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses, prefer to use their own language because many of them are not proficient in English, he said.

Other experts praised the system for providing detailed information about each official in charge of investment procedures, saying pressure to improve the business and investment environment would now not only be on the Government but also on officials.

This pressure is expected to help change the behaviours of officials, they said.

Frank Gozel, a senior UNCTAD expert and a consultant for creating the e-Regulations, told the newspaper that the system would provide momentum for the seven participating localities in improving their business environment.

Investors can use the system to compare and choose the most favourable investment destination, he pointed out.

Claude Jentgen, Charge d'Affaires at the Luxembourg Embassy in Ha Noi, was quoted by the newspaper as saying that his Government's target in supporting the programme was to speed up the process of making Viet Nam's business environment more open and transparent.

When investors know what should be done, who they should work with and where, it would be easier for them to make decisions related to their investment and business plans, he said.

Moreover, when the investment process becomes more transparent and open, it would help to prevent corruption and tackle bottlenecks in administrative procedures, he added.

Ngo Hai Phan, head of the Ministry of Justice's Department of Administrative Procedures Examination, said localities are willing to provide information for the system as well as receive feedbacks from investors.

This means local administrations really want to fix problems to improve their business environment, he said, adding that investors would surely benefit from this.

Viet Nam is among the 28 countries in the world and the first in Asia to implement E-regulations.

Initiated in 2007, the system includes the seven cities and provinces of Ha Noi, HCM City, Da Nang, Vinh Phuc, Hai Duong, Phu Yen, and Binh Dinh. — VNS

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