Proactively Contributing to Making Good Policies to Improve Business Environment

9:01:20 AM | 9/15/2021

VCCI’s action program for implementation of the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress emphasizes business roles in building the legal system to make a better business climate.

Helping hand for better legal system

The 13th Party Congress stated, “Giving focused priority on completion of synchronous, effective and well-organized implementation of laws, mechanisms and policies to shape a favorable, healthy and fair investment and business environment for all economic sectors, and fostering innovation”. This is also one of the contents that VCCI has centrally carried out in recent years.

The action program emphasized active participation in building the regulatory system that has direct impacts on enterprises and the business environment; actively carried out studies and surveys to lay the practical groundwork for sending proposals and recommendations for amendments to legal documents to enhance stability of the legal system, handle overlapped legal documents, and protect legitimate rights and interests of enterprises.

As for its constructive contributions to lawmaking and policymaking, VCCI joined 17 business-related law drafting boards and editing teams in the first eight months of 2021, including amended Law on Road Traffic, Law on Cinema, Decree on detailed instruction for implementation of some articles in Law on Administrative Violation Settlement. It took part in 10 appraisal councils responsible for verifying proposals/recommendations on the making of legal documents, draft documents and plans to reduce business conditions, including powerful business-related documents like Law on Customs, Law on Special Consumption Tax, Law on Enforcement of Civil Judgments, Law on Value-Added Tax and Law on Special Consumption Tax, Decree on Cash Payment, Decree on deadline extension for tax and land rent payment.

VCCI also continued to mobilize enterprises and entrepreneurs to give their opinions on laws, mechanisms and policies. It hosted 53 conferences, seminars and other meetings (mainly online) to gather expert opinions for 96 draft legal documents like amended Law on Intellectual Property, amended Law on Insurance Business, and amended Law on Electronic Transactions. VCCI also sent its opinions to hundreds of other documents made by central and local authorities across the country, including many strategic and long-term mechanisms and policies on business affairs.

Strengthening cooperation and dialogue for better business environment

The action program also paid special attention to fostering government-business cooperation and dialogues, especially on matters that help boost the effect of government - business relations at all levels.

To do this, VCCI reviewed and analyzed overlapping regulations, thus enabling it to send recommendations on amendments and improvements to legal regulations toward building a transparent and conducive business environment and promoting sustainable development. In 2021, VCCI participated in the program of reviewing and evaluating regulations of the Administrative Procedures Control Department (Government Office) to implement Resolution 68/NQ-CP dated May 12, 2020 of the Government for launching the Program of reducing and simplifying business-related regulations in the 2020 - 2025 period. VCCI continued to act as a member of the Secretariat of the Central Coordination Council for Legal Education and Dissemination and the Program Secretariat of the Government on cross-sector legal assistance for businesses (Program 585). The agency established the Experts Club to connect experts and businesses and hosted many law dissemination activities across the country to engage businesses, experts and lawyers. VCCI's website, which is updated daily and has nearly 1.5 million more visits, posted 134 draft legal documents and 70 comments of VCCI on prospective regulations and received comments and suggestions on lawmaking and policymaking from enterprises.

From feedback from businesses and trade associations and the “Vietnam Business Law Flow 2020” conducted by VCCI, regulations selected for analysis and comment in this report were based on criteria that produced strong influences on businesses in Vietnam, had special approaches to troubleshooting or typical development and promulgation processes. In addition, the report also picked up legal issues for analysis and evaluation. These important issues directly affected the business and investment environment. The selected matters in the 2020 Report were “Unsolved issues in regulations on market entry conditions” and “Legal framework for digital economy”. At the same time, it also assessed response and receptivity of drafting agencies to legal documents commented by VCCI. Mr. Dau Anh Tuan, Head of VCCI Legal Department, said, 212 out of 386 VCCI’s opinions (54.92%) were accepted by ministries and central agencies. This rate steadily increased in the last three years, much higher than the previous two years (44.08% in 2019 and 42.51% in 2018). The higher rate of accepted opinions than unaccepted ones showed that opinions of the business community were increasingly being listened to by authorities.

VCCI made an initial quality assessment of official documents and circulars issued by ministries and central agencies that troubled enterprises in reality through the webinar "Quality of circulars and notices - From business perspective”. According to VCCI, a lot of unclear circular contents resulted in different understanding and interpretation among execution agencies. Some circulars are not consistent with higher decrees. From its preliminary quality assessment of circulars and official notices from a business perspective, VCCI made six recommendations: Be professional in drafting circulars and control and prevent conflict of interest; improve and promote the role of circular quality checking agencies in response to feedbacks on circular quality; and strengthen consultation and practical mechanism to engage enterprises to have a more substantive voice to circular drafting process. Regarding post-inspection work, VCCI recommended monitoring circular promulgation, assessing policy impacts from circulars, and promptly collected information on implementation problems.

VCCI’s cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in making the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) in the last 16 years is among activities highly appreciated by domestic and foreign enterprises. PCI has enabled mindset shift, helped localities realize the importance of administrative reform and economic governance quality improvement to investment attraction and business development.

By Quynh Chi, Vietnam Business Forum