Last updated: Friday, March 22, 2019


Further Administrative Simplicity to Ease Businesses

Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2018

“The supervisory results at 12 tax and customs departments showed that personnel quality is quite different. Some civil servants communicatively displease the public in service delivery. In some places, people even get embarrassed or annoyed by their behaviours.”

This information is stated in the report on implementation of Resolution 35/NQ-CP in April 2018 made by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and submitted to the Prime Minister.

After two years of bringing to life, Resolution 35 has produced positive results and contributed significantly to socio-economic development. Particularly, business support and development, investment attraction, administrative procedure reform and business climate improvement are paid more attention by all-tier authorities and effectively responded by the business community. However, a lot of negative issues are found in work performance of some civil servants, institutional reform and administrative reform.

In its report in April 2018, VCCI proposed new comments on 12 draft legal documents like the Decree in place of Decree 66/2008/ND-CP on legal aid for enterprises; the Decree on organisation and operation of the SME Development Fund; the Decree on restricted underground water exploitation; the Circular on energy consumption norms for seafood processing enterprises; the Circular on mechanism of financial management and performance assessment of SME Credit Guarantee Fund.

VCCI also coordinated with the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the Ministry of Finance, the Vietnam Cooperatives Alliance, the Vietnam SME Association and the Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs Association to review operations and launch the survey report on implementation of Resolution 19 of the tax and customs sector and the supervisory report.

The report recommended the tax and customs sector continue reforming institutions and policies. The reform of administrative procedures in tax and customs should focus on such solutions as enhancing the responsibility and accountability of unit leaders and improving the sense of responsibility of civil servants in administrative reform. Information technology application should be accelerated into tax and customs administrative modernisation to smoothen electronic tax declaration, payment and refund. Particularly, there is a need for further studying and simplifying administrative procedures to reduce business conditions in a simpler way, minimise physical contacts between civil servants with people and enterprises, and ensuring publicity and transparency of procedures, processes and regulations to enhance supervisory effectiveness.

At the Workshop on “Administrative Procedure Reform - Improving Access to Credit Index” hosted by VCCI in cooperation with the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) in a bid to open credit facilities to support agricultural development and innovative startups - drivers of future economic development, some representatives from banks highlighted many difficulties in lending to SMEs. For example, a lot of enterprises fail to meet borrowing conditions namely lack of feasible business plans, limited owner equity capital and financial capacity, and non-transparent financial information. Credit investment performance of SMEs is not high since most of them have small scale, spontaneous operation, insufficient feasible plans and low risk tolerance. The workshop recommended further efforts for streamlined procedures to expand credit access for micro, small and medium enterprises; an essential legal framework to develop lending mechanisms for agricultural and startup and change lending modes to enable farmers to mortgage their own land to borrow money for production development.

Notably, VCCI organised the Workshops on "Vietnamese businesses and enforcement of intellectual property rights as per the Penal Code” in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The events brought together representatives of law-making bodies, international organisations, foreign business associations, intellectual property lawyers and enterprises. The workshops assessed that the enforcement of intellectual property rights, including criminal penalties, is one of key elements in negotiations of next-generation free trade agreements (FTAs) and a content particularly emphasised by development partners. At the same time, developed countries tend to “criminalise” intellectual property infringements by extending the scope of criminal enforcement, not just trademark and copyright but inventions and industrial designs as well.

In addition, VCCI hosted the Northern Coastal Business Conference 2018 attended by over 500 enterprises and business associations in the region. At this function, enterprises suggested many issues that restricted business linkage assisted by business associations, hindered SMEs from accessing land, bank loans and State assistant funds.

VCCI also held a meeting with companies in central coastal region and the Central Highlands in Da Nang City. The event assessed operations of local business associations. Currently, 50 active business associations in the region are effectively playing their active roles. However, the gap in operating capacity and performance among business associations is still quite wide; the number of associations is not proportional to quality; and added values generated by associations for their members are not as expected. The connectivity and cooperation among local business associations remains fragmentary, thus failing to promote the potential strength of each association.

The meeting focused on seeking solutions to handling many existing issues, reforming administrative procedures for enterprises, and recommending the adoption of the Law on Association to create a legal corridor for operation of business associations in the context of the market economy.

Quynh Anh

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