Promoting entrepreneurial spirit in economic recovery and development

4:07:18 PM | 11/14/2022

After more than two years affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we now have a clearer view of the positive contributions of entrepreneurs and enterprises in the field of pandemic prevention and control, as well as their contributions to the socioeconomic development.

The Party and the State of Vietnam have consistently advocated "not criminalizing civil and economic relations", and supported and encouraged enterprises to generate their revenues and profits in an ethical manner. This principle has many notable implications, contributing to stabilizing market sentiments and promoting sustainable business development.

Post-pandemic economic concerns

The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked economies around the world, including Vietnam, and has had many consequences for the world’s business sectors until now, including stagnated production, termination of contracts, violation of commitments and the risk of being prosecuted for criminal liability. These issues are not unique to only one country. However, they are gradually being alleviated.

According to Lawyer Tran Manh Thang (HCMC Bar Association), sectors mostly affected by the pandemic in Vietnam include tourism, construction, real estate, and distribution of non-essential goods. “The COVID-19 post-pandemic caused many lawsuits. Construction and real estate are heavily linked to each other. In joint-venture projects, main contractors, subcontractors and member contractors cannot cooperate and support each other. The number of workers in various service industries, such as tourism, has significantly decreased. Employees have lost their jobs and even sued their employers," Thang said.

The same situation happens for credit activities. In fact, borrowers who are unable to repay their debts and fail to repay on time have to reverse their debts or use sub-capital source at a high interest rate to maintain their business. Therefore, the outbreaks of disputes are likely take for granted. In 2021, the number of cases handled by the court was high, with 80 percent related to civil, commercial business, and labor.

Since then, the fear of criminalizing economic relations has also increased. Nguyen Chi Hieu, a legal expert, emphasized that the pandemic may be over, but its consequences in all aspects including the need of taking legal actions have to be anticipated to ensure that Vietnamese economic institutions are protected, as well as individuals, enterprises, and entrepreneurs. Given the increased number of entrepreneurs who may be infringing on the law, the aforementioned legal actions would lead to the insecurity of market economic institutions.

"The government needs to understand, share, listen and will continue to have solutions to support entrepreneurs to overcome difficulties and reach further," said entrepreneur Cao Nguyet Thu, director of a business in the construction industry (HCMC).

Vietnam currently has nearly 900,000 operating enterprises, about 14,400 cooperatives and more than five million household businesses. The private business sector contributes over 60 percent to Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) and about 30 percent of its total workforce. Speaking at a recent ceremony to celebrate Vietnam Entrepreneur Day and to honor outstanding Vietnamese entrepreneurs, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh praised entrepreneurs for their contributions to the country's socioeconomic recovery and development in the context of significant challenges facing Vietnam and the rest of the world. He also affirmed that the Government will work with ministries and localities nationwide to achieve 12 objectives to strengthen investor confidence in the bond, securities, currency and real estate markets. The extremely clear message of the Party and the State is not to criminalize civil relations.

Support for entrepreneurs and enterprises

When the whole country struggled against the COVID-19 pandemic, economic growth was sometimes negative, vaccines could not be accessed, and the pandemic had to be fought by administrative measures. During those difficult times, the responsibility of enterprises and entrepreneurs has been clearly demonstrated. They have contributed nearly VND10 trillion to the COVID-19 Vaccine Fund.

The Communist Party and the State of Vietnam support and encourage sustainable development of enterprises

Therefore, the non-criminalization of civil and economic relations contributes to stabilizing the confidence of individuals and businesses in Vietnam, increasing market liquidity, and thereby helping enterprises safely mobilize capital to develop and create more jobs. Criminalization is a phenomenon that society and the business community are very concerned about as it exhibit an intervention by judicial authorities in the normal activities of civil and economic transactions. The subjects of these negative acts are agencies and individuals who conduct the necessary legal proceedings. Many cases demonstrate the results of criminalization on individuals and businesses across Vietnam, such as the case of Hello café in Binh Chanh City, Ho Chi Minh City; the prosecution of the inheritance dispute at Nam A Bank; the case of seafood family in Bac Lieu. The criminalization has actually raised concerns among citizens and enterprises about the discipline of the country and the justice of the law.

Lawyer Tran Manh Thang (HCMC Bar Association) said that economic relationships often reflect the market-based economy, and are regulated by the market; therefore if an economic dispute shows signs of civil violation, it should be resolved by a court or by arbitration, instead of concentrating on criminal proceedings. For example, the People's Court of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province recently agreed to the proposal of the Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam to exempt the entrepreneurs including Tran Quy Duong, Ngo Thi Minh Phuong, Do Thuy Linh as the heads of the An Khang Real Estate Investment Joint Stock Company in Vung Tau from the criminal responsibility since the consequent economic losses no longer exist. "It is great when various entrepreneurs and enterprises have been relieved of difficulties, and protected from facing the risk of criminalizing the civil and economic relations in the context that the world’s economy is also struggling after the pandemic," Thang commented.

In order for society to develop, and for businesses to stabilize, the procurement sector recently issued many notices on the necessity of being careful in considering how to handle cases in economic, administrative and civil relations. Priority should be given to negotiation first. Only when the negotiation is not successful, the other resolution methods will be considered.

The Supreme People's Court has published more than 500,000 judgments on its website for all people and enterprises to access as reference materials. These include the Law on Conciliation, passed by the National Assembly, which prioritizes the settlement of social, civil and commercial disputes in a manner that is beneficial to all parties involved. Therefore, enterprises and entrepreneurs can use this new mechanism as a guide to resolve disputes and disagreements in business activities.

Source: Vietnam Economic News