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APEC discusses experiences in simplifying business registration

Update: August, 24/2017 - 17:35
Participants exchange information before the workshop. — VNS Photo Thu Ngan
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY – APEC members shared their experiences in assisting companies, especially micro, small and medium-sized ones, smoothly register for doing business at a workshop titled “Simplified business registration and incorporation according to international best practices” held in HCM City on Thursday.

Hosted by the US, the workshop attracted around 100 participants and experts from 21 APEC economies.

Over four sessions, participants shared international best practices in several areas, including incorporation of business, simplifying business registration including fully-fledged limited liability, creation by one or more persons, freedom of contract in the formation of a company, non-paid-in minimum capital, optional use of intermediaries, flexible organisational and accounting rules, one-stop registration, ready access to information online, simplification of registration forms and fees, and unique registration number.

Speaking to Việt Nam News on the sidelines of the workshop, an expert from an APEC member said: “The workshop is about starting a business category analysis, but it goes beyond doing business. It talks a lot about some best practices and simplified business registration and incorporation.

“Particularly for micro, small, medium-sized enterprises, of which of course Việt Nam has many, it is always a little harder to get a business started, it is harder to register a simplified incorporation. And so because formalisation for small businesses is very important both to the economy as well as the businesses.

“This is a big challenge for the APEC region, so that is something we are trying to work on.

“Everyone understands the need for micro and small businesses to register to be active.”

Another representative from an Asian member said: “APEC is a good forum where members can study each other through sharing of experiences.”

According to her, the most important aspect of simplifying registration is using technology, including digital, so that new companies can register online, which helps save time and cost.

A number of case studies from Mexico, Colombia, Papua New Guinea, Estonia, and the US were also shared at the workshop.

The Vietnamese delegation too shared its experiences.

Colombia, Argentina and Mexico spoke about the solutions they have adopted to simplify registration of enterprises.

The workshop helped participants understand more about the requirements for simplifying registration, Francisco Reyes of Colombia said.

A draft study titled “Assessing APEC starting a business frameworks according to international best practices” released at the workshop said: “Starting a business is the first stage in the life cycle of businesses and a straightforward, understandable system of business registration results in positive impacts on economic output.”

The study quoted the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development as saying, “From estimates based in the EU, a 25 per cent reduction in administrative costs produces a 1.5 per cent increase in GDP.”

The study added: “The World Bank also estimated that in developing economies a 10-day reduction in business start-up time boosts growth and investment rates by 0.4 per cent and 0.27 per cent respectively. Making starting a business accessible, understandable and affordable has real effects on the economic growth and level of investment in an economy, making it a priority endeavour to boost economic growth.”

The workshop was held under the aegis of APEC’s Economic Committee. The experiences and initiatives shared there will be submitted the Economic Committee’s meeting to be held in HCM City today. — VNS

 

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