Reforms needed to take advantage of FTAs

Friday, Jul 29, 2016 09:47

Workers of Lien Phat Shoes Company in the southern Binh Duong Province on a production line for exports to the EU, US, Canada and Japan. — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh
HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The legal system, mechanisms and policies of Vietnam have been incomplete and incomprehensive, failing to match the requirements of the country's socialist-oriented market economy, said Le Xuan Ba from Viet Nam Economic Sciences at a forum in Ha Noi yesterday.

The forum of the Viet Nam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) was convened to collect ideas from business experts and researchers about the institutional reform required to boost the local economy in the context of the 12 FTAs the country has signed.

According to the forum, the FTAs have so far contributed to improving the economy, with foreign direct investment (FDI) reaching US$22.75 billion in 2015 and.more than $11.2 billion in the first half this year.

However, Ba believes the business environment in Viet Nam is not sufficiently healthy, while many State-owned enterprises have not performed well and many private enterprises are weak.

He said that along with policies to support private firms, it is crucial to strengthen the financial market structure and boost the comprehensive growth of all kinds of markets.

Ba told the forum that the country should enhance transparency, improve inspections to identify flaws, boost judicial and public administration reform as well as improve the investment climate.

Pham Van Tan, deputy head of VUSTA, said many market laws are still not fully applied making it hard for Viet Nam to compete with other similar ASEAN economies that have better technology, more skilled labour and stronger capital.

Hoang Xuan Hoa, director of the general economics department of the Central Party Committee's Economic Commission said the country should continue to improve the regulation systems and reform the institutions.

Viet Nam should continue to complete institutions related to ownership and development economic sectors as well as business types, he said, adding that policies to boost the growth of enterprises and the synchronous development of all kinds of market are also vital, Hoa said.

Viet Nam has economic relation with 224 countries and territories. According to the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), 12 signed FTAs including the TPP, ASEAN, ASEAN-India, ASEAN-Australia/New Zealand, ASEAN-Korea, ASEAN-Japan, ASEAN-China, Viet Nam-Japan, Viet Nam-Chile, Viet Nam–Korea, Viet Nam-Eurasian Economic Union, Viet Nam-EU.

VCCI said Viet Nam was waiting for RCEP (ASEAN+6), Viet Nam-Israel and Viet Nam-EFTA. — VNS

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