Ministries urged to remove 49% foreign ownership cap in some firms

Updated at Wednesday, 16 May 2018, 08:11
The Hanoitimes - The Prime Minister’s working group recently proposed to remove the 49 percent foreign ownership cap at enterprises where foreign investment is not restricted.
Accordingly, the group suggested the government and the Prime Minister to direct the ministries of Finance and Planning and Investment to scrutinize conditional business lines and firms subject to the foreign ownership cap regulation to prepare for the removal.
The Ministry of Finance has accomplished 1,340 out of nearly 1,600 assigned tasks
The Ministry of Finance has accomplished 1,340 out of nearly 1,600 assigned tasks
Currently, the cap is still imposed on some public companies, which operate in conditional business lines applicable to foreign investors but having no specific provisions on foreign ownership, as stipulated in Decree 60/2015 / ND-CP. 
The request for removing the foreign ownership restriction at certain businesses is mentioned in a PM’s working group report on the implementation of the assignments given by the government to ministries and agencies and on results of inspections last month.
The PM’s working group said it conducted inspections at the Ministry of Finance and Vietnam Cement Industry Corporation (VICEM) in April.
Accordingly, the group concluded that the Ministry of Finance has accomplished 1,340 out of nearly 1,600 assigned tasks. However, many business conditions for enterprises under its management still overlap and are unreasonable, so the ministry plans to simplify or abolish 188 of 370 conditions.
In addition, the ministry is told to impose strict sanctions on officials found to harass businesses, and direct the General Department of Taxation and the General Department of Customs to lower tax debts to below 5 percent of State budget revenue.
The ministry must also complete the drafting of a law amending tax regulations to support enterprises, ensure sufficient tax collections and propose new tax policy for small enterprises, especially those converted from household businesses.
Meanwhile, the inspection at VICEM found that the corporation has grown strongly, and secured a domestic market share of 35-36 per cent. It has created jobs for a huge number of workers, and contributed significantly to the country’s socio-economic development.
However, VICEM must handle its shortcomings in some investment projects, the shift to advanced technology, land and property management and cooperation with other firms to make use of by-products of the sector.

According to the PM’s working group, from January 1 last year to April 30, the government assigned ministries, agencies, cities and provinces more than 26,700 tasks, of which nearly 15,900 have been completed.
Particularly, ministries of Finance, Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Transport have so far cut numerous business conditions.
After removing 675 out of 1,216 business conditions under its management last year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade early this month decided to continuously remove and simplify 54 administrative procedures in 10 sectors under its management including energy, import-export and food safety.
Under Decision No. 767 issued recently, the Ministry of Transport also announced the elimination of 384 out of 570 business conditions under the ministry’s authority. The number is equivalent to 67.36 percent of the total business conditions in the transport sector.
The Ministry of Finance has also planned to remove and simplify 188 business conditions under its authority. The number accounts for 50.8 percent of the total business conditions regulated for 21 industries and sectors under the ministry’s authority.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said they were also reviewing and proposing to cut 241 business conditions out of 345, accounting for 70 percent of the total in the area. 
According to MARD, 131 conditions of veterinary, animal feed, plant protection and quarantine, quality control, and genetically modified products will be revised, supplemented or eliminated in the administrative simplification. In addition, many business conditions in the Law on Seafood would continue to be revised and simplified.
Thao Le