Jan 07, 2020 / 09:25

Vietnam to make substantial reform in business starting procedures

Any process that is deemed cumbersome for enterprises must be changed, said Minister of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung.

Vietnam aims to cut by half the number of procedures for starting a business in Vietnam from eight to four, raising this criteria in the World Bank’s Doing Business report by 10 – 15 places right in 2020, according to Minister - Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung.

 Minister of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung at the meeting. Source: VGP. 

The Vietnamese government is determined to push for greater improvements in the business environment and national competitiveness, Dung said at a government meeting discussing measures to improve Vietnam’s business environment on January 6.

Vietnam continued to slide one notch from the 69th to 70th out of 190 economies and fifth in ASEAN in the World Bank’s latest 2020 Ease of Doing Business ranking, although its score went up 1.44 points compared to a year earlier to 69.8 out of the maximum of 100 points. 

 Source: World Bank's Doing Business 2020 report.

Among 12 areas in the report, Vietnam ranked 115th out of 190 economies in terms of starting a business, down 11 places against 2018 with eight procedures.

Dung added cooperation between ministries and government agencies in reform remains weak, requiring a more efficient mechanism.

Vietnam's detailed scores. Source: World Bank's Doing Business 2020 report.

According to Dung, Vietnam launched the national public services portal on December 9, 2019 to address this issue. As of January 5, the portal received 8.9 million of visitors, 357,000 documents which are under processing and 23,000 single access accounts.

Ngo Hai Phan, head of the Government Office’s Administrative Procedure Control Agency, said more work is needed to improve the starting-a-business criterion. For example, for the online business registration procedure, applicants still have to submit paper documents.

Still more cumbersomey, before using a seal, an enterprise shall have to notify the seal specimen to the business registration agency for publicly posting on the national business registration portal. The results of such a process along with certificate of business registration are required for commercial banks to open bank account for enterprises.

Phan added the national database on enterprises, social insurance, or labor force, among others, have not been integrated on a single platform, causing inconvenience for citizens and enterprises as they have to provide the same information repeatedly.

Phan advised the Ministry of Planning and Investment to allow enterprises to carry out the business registration online, while adopting the use of e-signature for enterprises’ legal representative, instead of using seals.

Minister Dung said the Government Office is scheduled to report to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc a set of recommendations to address pending issues regarding starting business procedures.

Any process that is deemed troublesome for enterprises must be changed, stressed Dung.