Forum told improvements to the country's business environment remain a high priority.
Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh promised the Vietnam Business Forum 2015 in Hanoi on December 1 that Vietnam will continue to do its best to improve its business environment.
Minister Vinh touched on a wide range of issues for foreign investors, such as business conditions, business registration, and trade codes.
The change from permitting enterprises to become involved in sectors not listed as conditional instead of sectors listed as unconditional was done amid great expectations from the government, he added. Many trade agreements, and Vietnam’s WTO commitments, list sectors where enterprise can do business rather than listing prohibited sectors.
“Several ministries have been unable to list prohibited sectors because many bilateral trade agreements only list where enterprises can do business,” he explained.
He also spoke of the efforts the ministry has made, issuing three decrees and six circulars listing prohibited business sectors, which are expected to be completed by 2017.
Decree No.118 from the ministry, to come into effect on December 27, is expected to have a positive impact on enterprises but few know about it. Investment agencies are to base decisions on issuing business licenses on the contents of this decree.
“In accordance with Article 10 of Decree No. 118, investment agencies are not allowed to ask enterprises to submit documents that are not listed within the Decree,” Minister Vinh said. Moreover, investment agencies have only one opportunity to inform an enterprise that its paperwork is lacking. “Agencies can be sued by enterprises if they seek additional documents from enterprises more than once,” he said.
Furthermore, business registration applications from enterprises will be considered accepted if investment agencies fail to reply within the stated timeframe. Stipulations in Decree No.118 are expected to save time for enterprises and avoid a situation where investment agencies delay the process.
Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Vu Tien Loc, said he appreciated what the ministry and the government does to support enterprises. But administrative procedures remain problematic. “I would ask for more links between State agencies,” he said.
He also expected the one-door mechanism to provide more convenience to enterprises. “The mechanism should be conducted properly, so that there really is one point that enterprises must contact.”
Wrapping up the forum, Minister Vinh said he hopes enterprises can understand the position the government is in, as it agrees with many of the issues raised by the business community but must seek agreement from the National Assembly.