Hurdles keep private sector from achieving preeminent status: experts

Friday, Mar 15, 2019 17:00

A factory in HCM City. The private sector plays an important role but in Viet Nam they are still subject to many risks and difficulties. — VNA/VNS Photo

The private sector, despite being considered the driving force of the economy, has yet to achieve a breakthrough due to many reasons, experts said.

They were speaking at the Vietnam Economic Conference held in HCM City recently and attended by executives representing more than 300 local and foreign businesses.

Asked about the reasons, 54 per cent of attendees said cumbersome administrative procedures, 26 per cent said inability to access capital and 21 per cent blame difficulty in accessing the market.

Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said administrative procedures are such a major obstacle that most business households do not want to become companies.

Dr Huynh The Du, public policy lecturer at Fulbright University, said the private sector receives the least priority, with policies prioritising State-owned and foreign firms over it.

The private sector, excluding household and individual businesses, only accounts for 10 per cent of the GDP.

There are more than 700,000 private companies in the country, of which 96 per cent are small and medium-sized enterprises and 2 per cent each are super-small and large enterprises.

Loc said it is time to include household and individual businesses and foreign-owned companies in which case the private sector accounts for 61 per cent of GDP.

Even for developed economies such as the US, Japan and Europe, small and micro enterprises are the backbone, and Viet Nam is not an exception, he pointed out.

To strengthen the role of the private sector in the economy, institutional reform is needed to safeguard companies’ rights and ensure the consistency of the system, he said.

Le Thi Nam Phuong, deputy chairwoman of the Vietnamese Young Entrepreneurs Council, said many regulations are interpreted differently in each locality, causing difficulties for businesses.

So the Government also needs to be transparent in the decentralisation of the functions of ministries and localities, she said.

Du said policies need to minimise risks and create a better business environment to motivate the private sector to develop. — VNS

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