VietNamNet Bridge - The 2008 Law on Promulgation of Legal Normative Documents stipulates that ministries and branches must collect opinions from subjects to be covered by laws when drafting laws and legal documents. However, in many cases, private businesses are ignored.


The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), which conducted a survey for the PCI report (provincial competitiveness index), found that only 20.1 percent of private businesses were consulted before legal documents were promulgated.

Only 14 percent of businesses with less than VND1 billion in capital were consulted, while the proportion was higher for businesses capitalized at over VND10 billion. 

Experts pointed out that the discriminatory treatment was “dangerous”, especially when policymakers draft regulations on business conditions.

In general, large businesses tend to praise state agencies when they set up new business requirements, because they can better satisfy the requirements than small businesses, while they understand that strict requirements will help them dislodge small businesses, or their rivals, from the market.

This is why the Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM) has found 5,588 unreasonable business conditions, an analyst said.

Under such conditions, it is understandable why so many unreasonable business conditions have been created by management agencies.

CIEM has called to remove unreasonable business conditions which it says are “sub-licenses”, because the requirements hinder small businesses to join the market, setting barriers to their operation.

Analysts have also found discriminatory treatment between state-owned and non-state owned enterprises. Thirty-nine percent of state-owned enterprises said they were consulted by law compilers at least once, while only 19 percent of non-state owned businesses were.

One ministry which compiled a legal document reported that 100 percent of consulted businesses agreed with the draft laws. However, the laws later faced strong opposition from businesses after they issued.

The problem was that the ministry only opened draft legal documents for opinions from businesses put under the ministry’s management.

In another case, a ministry drafted a legal document on managing a service, but it only consulted with service providers, but not with service users. 

In other cases, ministries said they could not discuss with businesses the draft legal documents because they did not have their contact addresses.

VCCI has confirmed that of the 366 legal documents at central level, only 147 were opened to collect opinions from VCCI.

Meanwhile, a businessman in Can Tho City said he dare not reveal his opinions about draft legal documents. “Sometimes we have made suggestions, and our business was inspected the next day,” he said.