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Forum discusses ways to improve business climate

Update: April, 22/2015 - 09:05
The two-day forum opens in Nghe An on April 21. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Van Nhat
NGHE AN (VNS) — Measures to improve Viet Nam's business environment during international integration is the main focus at the 2015 Spring Economic Forum that opened in the central province of Nghe An yesterday.

The two-day meeting will also review the results of the 2014 socio-economic development plan and discuss the implementation of socio-economic plans during 2015.

Opening the event, chairman of the National Assembly's economic committee, Nguyen Van Giau, asked experts to assess the feasibility of implementing the 2015 socio-economic targets approved by the National Assembly.

He said the targets concentrated on removing difficulties in production and business, restructuring the economy and improving competitiveness, efficiency and capacity..

Giau asked the forum to evaluate competitiveness through clear indexes, provide solutions for agricultural restructuring and production connectivity, discuss public debts, Official Development Assistance, imports and exports, employment, healthcare and education.

Another important issue to be discussed is the country's global economic integration, particularly the impact of free-trade agreements and globalisation on the country's economy, he said.

Director of the Viet Nam Institute of Economics, Tran Dinh Thien, said that Viet Nam recorded a growth rate of 5.98 per cent in 2014, 0.56 per cent higher than in 2013.

The 2014 growth occurred as the economy continued to show signs of recovery. However, the rate was low and growth did not surpass six per cent much lower than the average during the 1990-2010 period, he said.

Viet Nam's export markets were diversified, but the import markets were concentrated. Viet Nam exports products to many countries, including the US, the EU, China and Japan, but imports up to 29 per cent of its products from China.

The 2014 growth rate success was attributed to several factors, particularly the Government's pro-active implementation of many policies to stabilise the macro economy, promote regulatory reforms and actively integrate into the regional and global economy, he said.

Viet Nam posted a growth rate of 6.03 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

My Phong leather shoes Ltd.Co, in Tra Vinh Province has three factories that employ 28,000 local people. — VNA/VNS Photo Trong Dat

However, participants noted that Viet Nam still faced many challenges, including weak competitiveness among local businesses and low labour productivity. They said the skills of workers still lagged behind other countries in the region.

Former director of the National Centre for Socio-Economic Information and Forecast Le Dinh An stressed that the economy showed signs of recovery, but remained unstable. He said there was still a high risk for the economy to return to low growth.

He pointed out that the real estate market was still quiet; the economy's competitiveness was low; economic restructuring programmes were implemented slowly; and that there was slow investment in costly infrastructure.

Economic experts proposed measures to deal with these challenges, including continuing the tightened monetary policy; completing legal and public investment mechanisms; improving human resources; and improving the business and investment environment.

It was also essential to implement Government measures, such as stabilising the marcro-economy, keeping inflation under control, creating conditions for production and trade activities; pushing economic restructure, increase export and develop the market, they said.

Former director of the national information centre, An ,said it was necessary to initially implement measures such as keeping close watch over the change of the price of the US dollar in the market, focusing on developing agriculture to increase the value of farm produce and speeding up the equitisation process of State-owned enterprises.

During the second-day discussion of the forum today, economic experts and scientists are expected to discuss orientations to improve the business and investment environment.

They will provide in-depth evaluations of specific suggested standards for the business climate, in connection with the implementation of the 2013 Constitution and newly issued laws, including the Law on Tendering, Law on Investment and the Enterprise Law.

Representatives from the business community, the association of small and medium-sized enterprises and the Viet Nam Real Estate Association will analyse the evolution of the business environment in Viet Nam, and discuss the reforms required from their perspective.

The event was organised by the National Assembly's economic committee, the Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences, the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Central Institute for Economic Management. — VNS

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