Efforts to improve business environment to be ramped up
The local business community anticipates that the Government will take specific and efficient measures aimed at immediately resolving bottlenecks that hinder their operations, said Vu Tien Loc, chairman of VCCI.
Loc told Hai Quan (Customs) newswire that the Government has taken swift steps in an effort to contain the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and reboot the economy, therefore helping domestic firms to resume production.
In addition, the country’s signing of a number of free trade agreements (FTAs) has served to open up a window of opportunity for local businesses to make greater inroads into potential markets.
According to Loc, as part of efforts to support enterprises, the Government has stepped up the reform process for administrative procedures, along with the application of information technology to settle administrative procedures, even during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak.
In line with this, May alone saw the Government issue Resolution No.68 on reducing and simplifying regulations relating to business activities for the 2020-2025 period, with the primary aim of cutting down 20% of regulations along with 20% of regulatory compliance costs that relate to business operations.
Furthermore, firms themselves have also made great strides in maintaining production, with many taking the initiative in relation to raw materials and diversifying products in order to survive the crisis. They have also tried their best efforts, such as securing small orders, to ensure that their employees are able to retain their jobs and enjoy a stable income.
Despite these positives, there remains plenty of bottlenecks that stifle enterprises from taking full advantage of opportunities from FTAs, in particular the European Union and Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), to cushion the negative impact caused by COVID-19 and continue to develop, said the VCCI leader.
For this purpose, Loc stated that the VCCI and the business community have proposed that the Government focus on the effective implementation of the Law on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and the Law on Public Investment, with priority given to incomplete transport infrastructure projects.
“Businesses expect Vietnamese Trade Offices abroad to set up a portal on market and business connectivity, especially in the EU and other markets which Vietnam has signed an FTA with,” added Loc.
The business community representative stated that the Government should strive to support the establishment of technical centres as a means of guiding producers and exporters to meet the requirements of importers, especially for agricultural products that require specific food hygiene and safety standards.
Moreover, he noted that the local business community anticipates the Government will further improve the environment for firms and boost national competitiveness, with a focus on administrative procedure reforms and business conditions, thereby cutting costs for businesses.
Finally, Loc suggested that the Government should conduct regular and substantial dialogues alongside the business community in order to iron out any potential snags in a timely manner. Most notably, more micro, small and medium enterprises should be encouraged to participate in these dialogues as they are growing in large numbers but are most vulnerable to any market fluctuations, especially due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnam’s prospects appear positive as the economy is projected to grow by about 6.8 percent in 2021 and, thereafter, stabilise at around 6.5 percent, according to the latest World Bank’s economic update for Vietnam “Taking Stock”.