More substance needed to improve business environment

Thursday, 2016-08-04 17:06:31
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NDO - Two years since a resolution known as 19/NQ-CP was implemented on improving the business environment have produced some preliminary positive results, with the business community having greater trust in government policies.

Yet there remains a wide gap between the resolution’s intentions and its implementation in practice as enterprises are still restricted by many obstructive regulations, especially those specific to an area of business.

For example, a review by the General Department of Customs suggests among 77 documents regulating export and import activities, only two are fully compatible, 56 partially compatible and 19 incompatible with Resolution 19. Many of such regulations are impeding businesses and making them incur unnecessary costs.

According the World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 report, it takes an average of 166 days for a company to secure construction permits in Vietnam, up 52 days from the previous year and the longest time among ASEAN countries. Feedback from local governments and enterprises shows that a number of regulations on construction permission are constraining businesses.

Improvements have been made to legal documents relating to conditions for doing business, but they have not met the expectations of the business community and requirements of reform.

In order to accelerate improving the business environment, ministries, agencies and local authorities must implement Resolution 19 effectively, considering it as a top priority and aligning it with executing Resolution 35 on measures to support businesses. Importance must be attached to addressing issues that are frustrating businesses.

At the same time, action must be taken to rectify the working attitude of civil servants and punish those abusing their power to gain benefits. It is also necessary to speed up e-government initiatives so that paperwork can be processed electronically, and establish web portals to collect feedback on policy discrepancies and civil servants’ performance.

For now it is an urgent task to step up efforts to improve the business environment so as to foster enterprise development. General and detailed tasks for each ministry, agency and local government have been specified and the key now is aggressive and timely implementation. In a recent government meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasised that the in the months ahead, efforts to improve the business environment must be bolder to bring about substantive changes.