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‘We can if other countries can'

Update: January, 14/2015 - 09:46

The Government's first Resolution in 2015 carries a strong can-do spirit that should benefit the business community, VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc tells the Nong Thon Ngay Nay (Countryside Today) Newspaper.

The first resolution of the Government this year calls for the removal of all barriers facing the business community to spur production and increase competitiveness. Please comment.

I believe that the Resolution reflects the Government's strong commitment to improving the business environment in 2015. It shows that the Government will strictly adhere to all laws issued last year. It will continue administrative reforms, stabilise the macro-economy and reform state-owned enterprises.

The Government has also requested all ministries, sectors and localities to continue removing all administrative barriers to businesses, encourage firms to renovate and apply new technology, and invest in rural areas.

This is not the first time that the Government has issued such a Resolution. Can we expect anything different in its implementation this time?

There are many new aspects to this resolution. The Government issued it much earlier than in other years, showing its interest in speeding up economic reforms.

In terms of restructuring and equitising our State-owned enterprises, the Government has allowed the selling of 100 per cent of its stake in some sectors and State corporations. This is a good sign that will "break the ice."

There is also a clear sign that it will allow the sale of bad debts under market mechanisms, increase monitoring, enhance inspections and follow procedures on classifying bad debts.

With such a strong resolution, which sector do you think will experience great improvements this year?

Many sectors will improve. For instance, the Government has made clear its intention to sell its entire stake in some State firms and in certain sectors. This was one of the issues that slowed down the equitisation process in 2014. Selling part of the stakes did not attract investors.

With this change, I believe strategic investors will be more interested. They can buy major stakes and head management boards. I believe the Government has understood that the situation must change and this will stimulate reform in the State sector.

The Government Resolution also mentions the need to reduce ineffective public spending. This is not a new topic. Do you think the situation will improve in 2015?

We all know that ineffective public spending and wastefulness are both very dangerous. The National Assembly has talked so much about the need to tighten our State Budget. Clearly, the Government has seen the problem and implemented many measures to solve it, including limiting public sector recruitment and overseas missions by public officials.

This resolution also says clearly that there should be no new policy or initiative that can further strain the State Budget. The Government has also requested all sectors, ministries and relevant agencies to reduce and publicly disclose the cost of meetings, conferences and ceremonies to inaugurate State-funded construction works. Most importantly, it will not allow the purchase of new cars unless their need is clearly established. Ministries, sectors and localities have been asked to reduce all unnecessary expenditures for their meetings.

Will this Resolution lead to a revamping of the business environment?

I believe that the spirit of businessmen and businesses, after a "quiet" period, will be raised. This Resolution will reduce difficulties faced by businesses and aims to radically reform our administrative system with the motto: "We can do it if other countries can." Now it's up to the ministries, sectors and localities to live up to this spirit.

I want to stress that the pressure to integrate and reform is really high now and everything must be accelerated. At the recently-ended NA, I also asked the parliament to ask the Government and the business community to review all legal documents every six months to ensure that hurdles facing businesses are removed quickly. — VNS

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