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Experts urge business environment reforms

Update: August, 02/2014 - 09:10
PE and PP woven fabric is manufactured at Kaps Tex Vina, a foreign-invested company in Phu Tho Province's Thuy Van Industrial Zone. Viet Nam has been urged to improve its business environment by simplifying administrative procedures and cutting business costs. — VNA/VNS Photo Pham Hau
HA NOI (VNS)— If Viet Nam does not improve its business environment by simplifying administrative procedures and cutting business costs, the country will fall behind, experts warned at a workshop in the capital on Thursday.

Olin McGill, a consultant for the USAID-funded Governance for Inclusive Growth (GIG) Programme in Viet Nam, quoted a recent World Bank report that ranked Viet Nam 99th out of 189 nations when it came to the business environment.

He suggested the country focus on simplifying income tax compliance procedures, pointing out that each enterprise in Viet Nam currently spent an average of 872 hours a year complying with tax procedures. The worldwide average is around 300 hours.

Furthermore, he said, cross-border trade inefficiency wasted at least 15 per cent of Viet Nam's total trade turnover.

A resolution issued in March set as the goal that Viet Nam's results on key competitiveness indices equal the average of the other six ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore).

To reach this goal, State agencies plan to cut down administrative procedures and business expenses in order to improve cross-border trade, taxation and access to electricity.

At the workshop, agencies including the General Department of Taxation, the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam Social Insurance and the Vietnam Electricity Group pledged to make every effort to raise these indices by 2015.

Deputy Minister of Finance Do Hoang Anh Tuan said his ministry was amending some circulars so that the procedure handling duration complied with international accounting standards.

The ongoing tax declaration change could help cut the tax payment duration down by 201 hours, he said.

CIEM Director Nguyen Dinh Cung said CIEM was working with USAID/GIG to facilitate foreign investment and the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The workshop was organised by the Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM) in coordination with the Governance for Inclusive Growth programme of the US Agency for International Development (USAID/GIG). — VNS


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