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Gov't fiscal policies must spark confidence in 2013

Update: December, 22/2012 - 10:07

HCM CITY (VNS) —The government's new economic policies for next year need to focus on inspiring confidence of both consumers and businesses.

The recommendation was made by Tran Du Lich, a member of the National Advisory Council on Monetary and Financial Policies, said on Thursday during the Viet Nam Investment and Trade Promotion Forum in HCM City.

The forum was organised by the HCM City Union of Business Associations (HUBA) in collaboration with the Union of Friendship Organisations and HCM City Business Development Company.

The forum was attended by consul generals, commercial affairs officers and representatives of provincial businesses associations and 200 companies.

He said that market confidence had fallen this year due to frequent change in policies. As a result, businesses are unable to respond quickly to changing conditions.

To regain market confidence, the Government has addressed several problems, such as an inventory of businesses, bad debts at banks and a frozen real estate market.

By the end of this month, the Government will map out some solutions and policies to deal with problems.

However, Lich noted that, to recover the market, the efforts of enterprises would also be needed as well as State intervention.

Huynh Van Minh, chairman of the HCM City Union of Business Associations (HUBA), said that next year would continue to be challenging for businesses "due to the corollaries of economic crisis".

He said that businesses must establish close linkages and be more creative in responding to the economic crisis. Together with support policies from the Government, businesses would more likely overcome difficulties, he added.

It is estimated that by the end of the year, about 200,000 enterprises will have stopped operating or will have been dissolved.

Many enterprises have had to reduce their production scale because of tighter credit and high inflation.

Le Ngoc Trung, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's representative office in HCM City, said next year the government should help resolve the capital shortage for businesses and strengthen investment and trade promotion activities in new markets.

Although interest rates have dropped, businesses are still having a tough time accessing capital.

Trung advised companies to diversify capital sources, and not just depend on bank loans to do business.

"Economic restructuring to stabilise the macro-economy is just in the beginning period and will continue to be implemented next year," he said.

To attract more FDI, Phung Anh Tuan, Honorary General Consul of Finland, suggested that the Government issue the operating licence first and the investment licence later.

Currently, both licenses are issued at the same time, which results in a long waiting time, disappointing foreign businesses, he said.

Tuan said that Myanmar and Indonesia in the last two years had become more desirable locations for FDI than Viet Nam because of significant changes to those countries'economies and their favourable investment policies.

But Tran Kim Chung, chairman of CT Group, said FDI in Viet Nam was forecast to increase next year, with several big foreign-invested projects in central Ha Tinh, Khanh Hoa and Binh Dinh provinces.

As of November, southern Binh Duong Province ranked first in the country this year in attracting FDI ($2.2 billion), followed by HCM City ($1.14 billion) and southern Dong Nai Province ($1.115 billion). — VNS

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