Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has pledged to take stronger measures to create a level playing field for businesses and to improve the competitiveness of local businesses.
He made the commitment after hearing recommendations from entrepreneurs and associations at the conference themed “Siding with Businesses”, the second of its kind since he took office as Prime Minister, in Hanoi on May 17.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announces Directive No. 20 on inspection of businesses signed at the conference__Photo: Internet
Since Resolution No. 35 dated May 16, 2016, on supporting and developing businesses through 2020, was issued, the country has recorded some achievements with a record of 110,000 newly-established businesses and many foreign businesses’ plans to expand their operations in the country, heard the conference.
However, the Government still received many complaints about complicated administrative procedures, high taxes and fees, “unofficial costs” and difficulties in accessing credit.
According to a report of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, “unofficial costs” is still the worst headache of the business community. For example, they still have to pay “underground costs” to be awarded production licenses or pay bribes to pass inspections.
After receiving feedback from businesses about overlapping inspections conducted by different state agencies, Phuc requested state agencies to perform no more than one inspection of a business a year and not to extend extraordinary inspections of violations. This was immediately documented in a Prime Minister Directive issued right at the conference.
He said the Government promised to work to minimize costs that businesses are suffering such as administrative fees, logistic charges, charges for use of public-service facilities, and other payments to the state budget.
The conference also heard that the Government would submit a draft law to the National Assembly on support and assistance for small- and medium-sized enterprises, and speed up the revision of tax and customs regulations, ensuring consistency among ministries and agencies to help businesses save time and costs.
The Government leader agreed with the business community’s request to build fair institutions to guarantee equal treatment between the state sector and private sector, complying with international rules.
He stressed that all privileges given to state-owned enterprises would eventually be abolished, while state resources which were being used inefficiently would be redistributed to stakeholders based on their competitive capacity and ability to improve productivity and optimize the utilization of these resources.
He also urged enterprises to take advantage of new technology in production and business and to strive to train high-quality human resources capable of utilizing new technologies.
He called on businesses to improve Vietnamese products’ image to increase their market shares abroad and to win over Vietnamese consumers. “If we ignore our local market, we fail,” he said.
At a working session with ministers and leaders of sectors the same day, PM Phuc highlighted the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s compilation of a draft Prime Minister Directive on the implementation of Resolution No. 35.
The draft directive should clearly identify measures to promote entrepreneurial ecosystem, facilitate agricultural households’ access to land and work out policies toward five million business households and specific credit policies for agriculture and rural areas, Phuc said.
He emphasized the necessity to include in the draft directive strict sanctions against cadres and civil servants who cause difficulties to enterprises.- (VLLF)