Agriculture Ministry to improve investment conditions
VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will review and evaluate the support and development for enterprises. Thereafter, it will propose to adjust and add policies to create favourable conditions for enterprises investing in agriculture. Ha Cong Tuan, deputy ministry of agriculture and rural development, told Vietnam News Agency about those issues.
What is the ministry doing to create favourable conditions for enterprises while developing investment activities in the agricultural industry?
In recent years, the government has issued many mechanisms and policies to attract investments from enterprises to the agricultural industry. Two important policies were Decree 210/2013/NĐ-CP on incentives for enterprises putting investment to the farming industry and the rural area and Decree 55/2015/NĐ-CP on credit policies for development of the agricultural and rural areas. In addition, there were many other policies to support investment activities in the farming industry, including a poverty reduction policy and the national target programme on new rural development.
We think that those policies have created initial changes in investment activities for agriculture. Recently, some large enterprises have invested in agriculture. However, a number of investors, as well as a number of investments in agriculture have been still lower than those of other sectors.
To implement the Resolution 19/2016/NQ-CP of the government on major tasks and solutions on improving the business environment and national competitive ability in 2016 and 2017 and to 2020, and the Resolution 35, the ministry has reviewed existing investment incentives to evaluate efficiency of those incentives. So, it can know why some policies have not helped efficiency. For instance, many enterprises have complained that they cannot seek credit or get incentives under Decree 210.
In addition, the ministry has also compiled a decree on investment incentives to agriculture for foreign investors, mainly including food hygiene and safety, fertiliser, medicine and animal feed.
The second thing is the land policy. There are many enterprises needing land for their investments in agriculture. The State and the agricultural industry must create favourable conditions for enterprises to have land and also ensure land for farmers. But, in fact, the state has not had a large clear land available for enterprises.
Since the State cannot take land from the farmers to give to enterprises it has restructured agricultural and forestry companies to receive land for enterprises putting their investment into produce high-tech agricultural products.
We have proposed that enterprises combine with farmers for developing a large field model in producing rice, industrial and forestry trees. The combination is very important because the State does not have hundreds of hectares of land to hand over to enterprises.
The third issue is equitisation and restructuring of state-owned enterprises in agriculture to attract more investment from the private sector to agriculture.
The ministry expects in 2017, all state-owned enterprises in agriculture to be equitised. This year, equitised enterprises will continue to divert capital from non-core business. Many enterprises have withdrawn all funds from non-core business, including the Viet Nam National Vegetable, Fruit and Agricultural Product Corporation, Viet Nam Tea Corporation and the Viet Nam General Corporation of Agricultural Materials.
The government has asked ministries and industries to develop a programme under implementation of the Resolution 35. They will report on development of the programme to the government before July 1, 2016. What does the ministry do according to the government’s equirement?
The ministry expects before June 15 to have specific plans on implementing the Resolution 35 and Resolution 19. The two resolutions are closely related. The ministry has set up a steering committee to implement the two resolutions.
Now, the ministry has been reviewing implementations of existing mechanisms and policies on land and administrative reforms.
Recently, the ministry has submitted to the government a draft of regulations on conditions for investment and business activities in agriculture. According to the draft, agriculture will reduce conditional business lines from 99 to 32. Each business line will also have reduction in requirements for administrative procedures to save money for enterprises.
During a review of business conditions in agriculture, what will the ministry do to reduce conditional business lines to 32?
The ministry has reviewed the entire legal document related with investment and business conditions in agriculture and rural development, including seven laws, five ordinances, 17 decrees, and one decision of the government, in addition to 39 circulars of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The ministry has found that agriculture has 99 conditional business lines.
According to the Law on Investment, agriculture has 35 conditional business lines. The ministry has proposed to the government that they do not have business conditions for three business lines including business of ornamental and shade trees, firewood and charcoal business, and business of fishing gear and fisheries instruments.
Meanwhile, for business conditions of other business lines, the ministry has proposed to reduce administrative procedures and conditions on administrative procedures and to retain basic conditions for ensuring quality of products and food hygiene and safety.
What difficulties has the ministry faced while reducing conditional business lines?
The ministry has taken a long time to review regulations on business conditions in the fields of plant protection, veterinary medicine and aquaculture. Those fields need careful consideration to ensure reduction of business conditions on administrative procedures, create favourable conditions for enterprises and also ensure quality of products and better production process.