More actions needed to boost reforms: businesses

Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018 08:24

Workers for the Electricity of Viet Nam check the power transmission system. The power sector is one of the areas in which businesses have seen improvements in recent years. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha

Businesses expect to see quicker actions from State management agencies in the enforcement of the Government’s Resolutions No 19 and 35 to boost reforms and promote business development.

This need was highlighted at the launch event for the report on the implementation of the resolutions from the view of businesses, held by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) on Tuesday in Ha Noi.

"More than anyone, businesses have felt the results and efficiency of reforms over the past few years,” VCCI’s Chairman Vu Tien Loc said. “They understand best how changes in the business environment affect their operations. The satisfaction of enterprises is the most important measure for the success of reforms.”

The VCCI survey, which was conducted on some 10,000 private firms, found that the companies saw significant improvements in the business climate in recent years. However, the level of improvement remained uneven across different sectors and localities.

Loc said the space for reforms remained large, adding more efforts were needed for the State management agencies and local authorities to boost efficiency and benefit enterprises.

Loc said the report would serve as a reference for the evaluation of the Government’s Resolution 19 about improving the business environment and national competitiveness and Resolution 35 about business development for the compilation of new resolutions.

According to Dau Anh Tuan, Head of VCCI’s Legal Department, surveyed businesses felt that starting a business and getting electricity were the two areas that saw the most improvements. However, trading across borders, protecting investors and resolving insolvency did not improve much.

The deregulation of business conditions, an important task in Resolution 19, was still far below the goal, although Ministry of Planning and Investment statistics showed that as of October, 15 decrees about deregulation of business prerequisites had been issued, Tuan said.

The application for sub-licences remained difficult, he said, citing the report’s finding that 42 per cent said that they met difficulties when applying for these licences.

It was necessary to have an independent organisation to evaluate the progress of deregulation and the level of transparency in applying business prerequisites, Tuan said.

The VCCI survey also found the procedures for registering a property lacked co-ordination between relevant agencies, such as land management agencies, tax agencies and notary offices. In some provinces, databases of these agencies had not been linked to each other.

Tuan added that reforms in import inspections had also progressed slowly. As of September, 68 procedures were conducted via the national single window, out of 284 targeted by 2020. To date, only one was conducted completely electronically while others still required hard copies.

Tuan said firms complained that they were inspected more than once per year, citing statistics of the 2017 provincial competitive index report that said nearly 40 per cent of firms were inspected at least two times per year and 13 per cent saw overlaps in the inspections of different groups.

“Many reforms are introduced but it is a long road before they truly benefit businesses,” Tuan said.

Nguyen Dinh Cung, Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said an independent organisation to review the issuance of legal documents should be set up, which would play important role in improving the business climate. — VNS

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