Mạc Quốc Anh
Mạc Quốc Anh, Secretary General of the Hà Nội Association for Small and Medium Enterprises, spoke to the newspaper Kinh tế & Đô thị (Economic and Urban Affairs) about changes to the investment law concerning Vietnamese enterprises.
What do you think about the reaction of Vietnamese enterprises to the elimination of 3,299 requirements from the current investment law, which will be effective as of July 1?
I would say that the enterprise community has reacted positively to the Government’s decision to eliminate 3,299 requirements from the old investment law.
The decision will help Vietnamese small and medium enterprises (SOEs) enter the market easier and do what they need to meet the market’s requirements.
However, I’m a bit sceptical about the feasibility of the proposed changes.
Could you please further elaborate on this opinion?
According to the Ha Noi Association of Small and Medium Enterprises’ points of view, the Government’s decision to eliminate the 3,299 business requirements as written in the investment law is to improve the business environment and to elevate the country’s competitive edge in business operations in 2016.
However, SMEs still have to face the big problem of “sub permits”, which are annoyances to many enterprises. These “sub permits” appear in different forms and, no doubt, go against the law. But they are strongly associated with the interests of certain groups of people.
In my opinion, this is something we have to eliminate immediately.
What are the most pressing issues facing Hà Nội enterprises now?
Here I just want to mention the three most pressing procedures as follows:
Firstly, it is the procedure relating to natural resources and the environment. According to a survey conducted by the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), this procedure is the most complicated and troublesome to enterprises, particularly administrative requirements on the land issue. Up to 27 per cent of enterprises have lodged complaints about this problem.
Secondly, it is the taxation procedure. Though there has been much improvement in the taxation procedures, it is still very cumbersome. Though the General Department of Taxation has spoken highly of the use of online tax declaration, many enterprises have lodged complaints about the extra costs incurred during the online tax declaration.
For example, they have to spend VNĐ 1-2 million for their digital signature for an office that is notified about their digital signature, or they have to regularly update their software 2-5 times a quarter in order to make their tax declarations conform to their new tax formats required by the Taxation Office.
Last but not least, the overloaded checks must filter through different public functional agencies, including the Management of the Industrial Park, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the People’s Committee at different levels and others. Such administrative activities have consumed a lot of time and money from enterprises.
Some have suggested that legal agencies should be totally separate from law enforcement agencies. Do you support this idea?
I couldn’t agree more.
It is high time for Government agencies to change their way of thinking, particularly by giving more thought before compiling new legal documents to ensure they match reality, and by helping enterprises implement them easily. - VNS