HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The Government asked ministers and chairmen of provincial and municipal people's committees to build action plans to improve the country's business environment and competitiveness for the third year in a row.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered officials to present their plans by the end of this month to concretise Resolution No 19/2016, which he signed late last month.
The resolution required the officials to publicise administrative procedures, eliminate unsuitable business conditions and establish proper systems to deal with requests from people and businesses. Any procedures are encouraged to be dealt with through the internet or postal services.
Civil servants who are irresponsible or cause trouble for people and businesses will be strictly dealt with, the resolution stated.
The Government assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment to promptly issue circulars providing full guidelines for investment and enterprise laws, and to co-operate with the Ministry of Justice to post investment and business conditions on a national portal for enterprises.
It asked the ministry to build an automatic system to grant tax codes to enterprises, and establish a digital system that fosters connectivity among the Viet Nam Customs and related agencies in managing imports and exports.
The Government also asked the Ministry of Finance to apply information technology for at least 95 per cent of tax declaration, payment and refund processes, and to assure that any complaints from tax payers are resolved in accordance with the law.
It also asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to remove regulations that create difficulties and push up costs for enterprises in its management and inspection process.
The Ministry of Transport must co-ordinate with the Ministry of Finance to review and guarantee transparent transport fee quotations, while the Ministry of Construction must shorten licencing time.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is to collaborate with the Ministry of Construction to integrate environmental protection procedures into the construction licencing process, and to stipulate legal documents needed for land use rights.
The Government Office will be responsible for opening forums to receive policy arguments from businesses and people on the Government portal chinhphu.vn.
The office is to co-operate with the planning ministry to verify public opinion and report the situation at quarterly Government meetings.
The Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Viet Nam Bar Federation and Viet Nam Lawyers Association, along with trade associations, are assigned to conduct independent surveys about the quality of agencies performing administrative procedures.
These organisations will study credit ratings of the business community about ministries, sectors and localities, and recommend policies to the Government.
They will also co-operate with ministries to develop programmes to help enterprises better build competition strategies, increase productivity and perform social responsibility, thereby promoting national competition capacity.
Last Friday, Phuc held a special meeting with Cabinet members to discuss proposals and recommendations for business development.
Expecting the current number of businesses in Viet Nam to double to a million by 2020, they focused on issues such as business registration, market participation, loan access, taxes, customs and investment attraction.
VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc told a business forum in Ha Noi in mid-April that the domestic business environment, though significantly improved, required more appropriate measures to support business development.
"Inherent problems of enterprises are yet to be solved," Loc said, pointing out issues such as low labour productivity, inefficient capital use, outdated technology and a shortage of companies large enough for integration.
"Efforts to improve competitiveness will be critical to Viet Nam's success and particularly to developing a more inclusive economy," said US Ambassador to Viet Nam Ted Osius, addressing a provincial competitive index launching ceremony in Ha Noi early last month. — VNS