Agencies urged to boost transparency
DA NANG (VNS)— Local administrations nationwide needed to improve transparency while working with investors as a way to spur socio-economic growth, said Dau Anh Tuan from the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
|A man process payments at the Da Nang Tax Department. Localities have been asked to improve the transparency of the procedures and operations. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hung
Speaking at the 11th anti-corruption dialogue in the central city of Da Nang yesterday, Tuan said Viet Nam had gradually improved transparency in administrative management since the Provincial Competitiveness Index was launched in 2005.
However, local governments should dramatically reform their administrative management and raise awareness of policies and planning.
According to Tuan, a VCCI survey revealed that 75 per cent of businesses said that they had to get investment information through personal relations.
About 40 per cent of businesses had to waste time or pay informal charges to access information regarding legal documents and investment from local administrations.
He said investors used to have to wait for a long time to complete administrative procedures.
"Investors do not know which way to go in a matrix of administrative information provided by different agencies," Tuan said.
However, he praised the efforts made by some provinces to improve transparency, including Bac Ninh, Lao Cai, Long An, Da Nang, Binh Dinh and Dong Thap.
He said that Bac Ninh had taken big steps to reform administrative procedures.
"In previous years, investors in Bac Ninh Province had to shuttle back and forth at least 36 times to get an investment licence, but now they have cut that by a third," he explained.
Participants also shared experiences in administrative reform and improving transparency.
Da Nang has seen the most rapid local development in Viet Nam due to its comprehensive reform of administrative management.
"We publish investment, planning, projects and the city's budget online. Ninety per cent of administrative offices in eight districts are monitored by cameras," said the city's vice chairman Vo Duy Khuong.
According to the city's investment promotion centre, it took investors just five days to obtain a business licence.
The Viet Nam Tokai company's automobile and spare parts and accessories plant received a business licence in just an hour – the quickest case in Da Nang.
However, the city needs greater efforts to improve its investment environment.
In a survey conducted by the city's Institute for Social Economic Development, 47 per cent of 188 businesses had to pay for informal charges, while 18 per cent of those businesses had to bribe bank staff to access loans.
VCCI official Tuan suggested all procedures and policies from local government should be posted online and people should be given the right to monitor them, as well as budgets and assets. — VNS