Jan 03, 2020 / 14:15

Vietnam PM to form task force for reforming business environment

The government remains steadfast in removing obsolete regulations that restrict business operations, while preventing the introduction of new regulations implying higher costs for enterprises.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc would set up a special working group to accelerate the business environment reform, with an aim to reduce at least 20% of costs of administrative procedure compliance, according to Minister - Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung.

 Overview of the meeting. Source: VGP. 

Personnel of the task force would include senior staff from the Government Office, the Ministry of Justice, other ministries and ministerial-level agencies, Dung said at a meeting on January 2 discussing the action plan to simplify business conditions in the 2020 – 2025 period.

Dung said the first government meeting of the year was to discuss the business environment, indicating strong determination of the government to carry out administrative reform.

In 2019, Vietnam’s competitiveness increased by 10 places, but the business environment raking decreased by one notch despite higher score compared to last year.

Dung stressed the government’s stance on removing obsolete regulations that restrict business operations, while preventing the introduction of new regulations implying higher costs for enterprises.

In case such regulations are stipulated in laws, the government would report to the National Assembly for revision, stated Dung.

Dung noted more efforts are needed to supervise the drafting process of circulars, which are considered major sources for business barriers. Circulars in Vietnam are issued by ministries.

Additionally, Dung expected more reform in specialized inspection process for goods and products subject for import/export.

According to Dung, Vietnam would refer to the UK’s experiences in simplifying business conditions. This year, the issuance of a new legal document must come with the abolition of an existing one and for one circular promulgated, two others must be abolished.

On this issue, Vice Director of the Central Institute of Economic Management Phan Duc Hieu said the UK has a concept of smart regulation, focusing on quality rather than quantity.

The government would consider a tool that could calculate costs of administrative procedure compliance for the people and enterprises at a time when a new regulation becomes effective, while ministries and provinces/cities would be ranked for their efforts in improving the business environment.

Ngo Hai Phan, head of the Government Office’s Administrative Procedure Control Agency, said the Government Office is cooperating with IT companies in developing a software capable of analyzing statistically all legal documents related to business operation.

The move is in line with the OECD’s recommendations, said Phan.

In 2020, the target is to deal with 25 overlapping provisions in legal documents recommended by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and list all documents with reference to business conditions.

President of VCCI Vu Tien Loc agreed with the target, saying the move would ensure greater transparency for the legal system.

Loc said Vietnam should learn from good international practices, particularly from the top four business-friendly countries in ASEAN.