Friday, October 28 2016


Retailers ignore policy: report

Update: March, 04/2016 - 08:00

"About 28 per cent of enterprises believe that the retail sector will significantly benefit from new-generation FTAs that are about to be implemented" Tu said. — Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — More than 70 per cent of domestic retailers have avoided participating in the policy-making process and are indifferent to reviews of existing policies, even those that directly impact their businesses, said the Association of Viet Nam Retailers (AVR).

AVR released the information during the seminar "Policy review and law-making contribution: awareness and actions of the retailer community," held yesterday in Ha Noi.

According to a survey conducted recently by AVR, there are two main reasons why many retailers, especially small- and medium-sized firms, pay little attention to the review of policies, especially those that are related to the new-generation Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

"First, about 51 per cent of retail businesses said they do not know how to get involved in the process of policy review and consultation," said AVR's Chief of Staff Nguyen Thi Cam Tu.

"Secondly, 55 per cent of the survey respondents said they lack confidence in their opinions and feedback on the State policies that are sent to the Government," Tu said.

In terms of understanding the new-generation FTAs, only 38 per cent of the respondents paid proper attention to and thoroughly grasped the contents of the FTAs that the Government is negotiating and has signed, Tu said.

About 28 per cent of enterprises believe that the retail sector will significantly benefit from new-generation FTAs that are about to be implemented, Tu added.

Speaking at the seminar, Tran Ba Cuong from the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Multilateral Policy Department said Viet Nam has done little to encourage the private sector to participate in formulating policies, whereas in TPP member countries, the participation in policy formulation mainly comes from the private sector.

He said the new-generation FTAs bring about many opportunities for the retail sector, such as tax reductions when the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is signed and takes effect.

Local customers will have the opportunity to buy many diverse commodities with cheaper prices, putting pressure on domestic manufacturers and suppliers, Cuong said, but added that it is necessary to help local enterprises enhance their capacity to ensure food quality and safety for consumers.

Joining the TPP will also allow Viet Nam to engage in the regional and global production chain, promoting investment, facilitating economic restructuring, creating more job opportunities and helping to elevate Viet Nam's position and prestige in the international arena.

Cuong also said that in addition to opportunities, the retail sector also has to encounter many challenges, such as pressures related to market expansion, management capacity innovation and professional qualifications enhancement.

Cuong said AVR should pay attention to domestic enterprises in the retail industry, helping them to thoroughly understand the FTAs' commitments that directly and indirectly impact Vietnamese retailers.

He said the Government should encourage the participation of the retailer community in the process of policy formulation and development.

"Enterprises should proactively enhance competitiveness and improve technology and labour productivity as well as actively engage in the regional and global production and supply chain," Cuong said.

They should also fully implement their obligations stipulated in FTAs to avoid violating the provisions of those agreements, he said. — VNS

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