The Government should propose that "civil economic" offences be decriminalised, Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the Hai Quan (Customs) newspaper.
Has the ongoing administrative reform process created favourable conditions for firms to restore production?
In a year when the economy has experienced many difficulties, Vietnamese enterprises have acknowledged the Government's efforts in stabilising the macro-economy, carrying out structural reforms and controlling inflation.
Though low productivity, inefficiency and lack of competitiveness still characterise the business environment, there are positive signs because the macro-economy has been stabilised. Inflation has been kept under control at a low level and the deposit rate has been reduced considerably compared to 2013. This is a good sign for Vietnamese enterprises to restore and gradually expand production.
In addition, many big transport infrastructure projects have been commissioned - a very important condition for enterprises to develop.
Some of the specific actions taken to improve the business environment include Resolution 19 and the Prime Minister's Directive 11/2014/CT-TTg on solving difficulties and challenges facing Vietnamese enterprises.
If enterprises are facing difficulties despite the Government's efforts, what are the remaining barriers?
In my opinion, accessing some important documents, including some master development plans, is still a challenge for enterprises. Transparency and access to these documents can help enterprises develop their production strategies and plans. In addition, many local governments have not been really helpful to enterprises. Local governments have to improve law enforcement as well as their readiness to help enterprises.
So, while there has been progress, including the elimination of some cumbersome procedures, enterprises are still hoping that the admin reform process will rise to another level in all aspects in the near future. Policy makers should ensure that it happens very soon.
What are the measures that the Government should consider now?
We can see that significant improvements have been made in the legal system, administrative procedures and the restructuring of State-owned enterprises, but reforming the State apparatus and transferring certain public services to the private sector has been happening very slowly. This last-mentioned process needs a clear roadmap. Another thing that should happen is that legal institutions work side by side with administrative offices to create favourable conditions for enterprises to function in a safe and sound environment.
We want the Government to suggest to the National Assembly that the current legal system is revised to avoid the criminalisation of civil economic relations, improve the quality and effectiveness of our legal institutions, and encourage the settlement of disputes through the mechanisms of reconciliation and arbitration. — VNS