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Nov 03, 2021 / 18:30

Hanoi to hold dialogue with local businesses this month

The dialogue aims at improving the business environment and enhancing national competitiveness in 2021.

Hanoi's authorities and businesses will spend their time together addressing problems that have been hampering the local economy for months and promoting recovery plans to return life to normal.

 Machinery production at Tam Hop Company. Photo: Pham Hung

Specific actions will be made at a dialogue that is set to take place early this month. Local authorities want to listen to recommendations from local businesses and provide them with efficient supports.

The dialogue will be organized by the Hanoi Promotion Agency (HPA), a managing body for trade, commerce, and tourism promotion in Hanoi. It follows the success of the previous dialogue between Hanoi’s leaders and foreign businesses affected by the pandemic held in the capital city in October.

“The dialogue is part of the municipal Government’s efforts in further improving the country’s business environment and enhancing national competitiveness in 2021,” said HPA Director Nguyen Anh Duong, expecting the participation of 150 delegates from the central Government, the city’s authority, local business association, households and craft villages.

“At the conference, Hanoi’s leaders would inform the business community on the socio-economic situation and efforts to address their concerns,” he added.

A report from the municipal Department of Planning and Investment said the number of newly-established enterprises in October was estimated at 2,298,  a 2% drop year-on-year. This resulted in a total of 19,800 new businesses in the first ten months of 2021, a decrease of 10%  over the same period of 2020.

While the pandemic has no doubt posed severe hardship on the business community, they remain an integral part of the local economy and contributed to Hanoi’s exports of US$12.3 billion during the period, of which domestic companies made up  $7 billion, and the foreign-invested sector $5.4 billion.

Businesses hope for substantial support from local government

According to the Vice Director of Hanoi’s Department of Industry and Trade Dam Tien Thang, the local business community called for the city to continue providing support in forms of waiving and lowering taxes, land rental fees, or access to preferential loans.

“Businesses expected to have greater autonomy in drafting their own Covid-19 prevention strategy,” Thang told The Hanoi Times.

Director of Xuan Loc To Company at Ngoc Hoi Industrial Cluster, Thanh Tri District, Tran Thi Thu Ha suggested Hanoi should further ease conditions for people to return to work and accelerate production resumption of companies.

Meanwhile, Vice General Director of Thuong Dinh Electrical Wires and Cables Huynh Tan Quyen pointed out the complicated administrative procedures are preventing companies from receiving benefits of existing supporting programs.

“Hanoi should further push for administrative reforms so as to enhance the business environment for greater competitiveness,” Quyen told The Hanoi Times.

Quyen added the city should give companies permission to control the movement of their workforce, rather than giving the responsibilities to the localities.

Vice General Director of Rang Dong Company suggested the city should provide detailed instructions on how companies may access new preferential policies on waiving or freezing payment of taxes and fees.

At present, the majority of companies in industrial parks have returned to operation. To further support enterprises distributing their products and taking part in the global supply chains, the HPA would step up trade and investment promotion activities to help local businesses seek foreign partners.

For the remainder of the year, the HPA is scheduled to hold a series of trade promotions across provinces/cities, including specialties fair by the end of 2021, HPA Director Nguyen Anh Duong told The Hanoi Times.

High costs of input material and logistics are putting pressure on businesses’ operations at the moment. While the Government has put in place several supporting programs,  the strict requirements are impeding businesses’ access to such a program.

In this case, Hanoi could provide detailed guidance for businesses to benefit from such supports or get access to preferential loans from the banking sector, as well as the lengthening of debt maturities, Director of Manh Quang Machinery Company Nguyen Manh Quang told The Hanoi Times