|Phạm Tấn Công, chairman of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). Photo courtesy of tuoitre.vn
Nurturing business confidence and entrepreneurial spirit is one of the most important factors for Việt Nam to develop. Phạm Tấn Công, chairman of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), discusses the issues with Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.
Despite the pandemic, Việt Nam recorded 116,800 newly registered enterprises and 43,100 enterprises back to casual operations. Will synchronous development be needed to further boost economical spirit?
It is crucial to build Vietnamese business culture in a comprehensive and systematic way, which covers all aspects such as corporate culture, entrepreneurial culture, consumer culture, media culture, and state management culture on operational business activities. The role of media culture and the press in promoting enterprise development must be enhanced.
Authorities should maintain macroeconomic stability and improve the quality of business environment in order to boost the spirit of entrepreneurship. Inflation should be curbed for businesses to build confidence. New policies should be predictable, and ministries should continue to remove business barriers.
More programmes should be organised to support and encourage the development of potential, innovative start-ups in priority areas.
It is also crucial to improve the start-up ecosystem and stress the importance of creativity, independence and teamwork spirit from high school level. Relevant authorities should build a focal point for Government business support programmes to make them more accessible to business people.
Government set a target of one million enterprises set up by 2020 which was not realised. How many businesses does Việt Nam need to reach its goal of becoming a developed industrial country?
With regards to the economic restructuring plan between 2021 and 2025, Việt Nam strives to reach about 1.5 million enterprises. In order to achieve this goal, besides continuing to improve the quality of business environment and further simplify administrative procedures, relevant authorities need to focus more on creating favourable policies to support newly established enterprises.
In fact, the number of accumulated enterprises established by the end of 2021 in Việt Nam has been more than 1.65 million, yet the number of currently-operating enterprises is only about 52 to 53 per cent. This has indicated that the number of enterprises withdrawing from the market is very high, especially in past two years.
That said, the quality of enterprises is more important than the quantity when it comes to sustainable development of the country. We need to focus on improving the quality and sustainable development of enterprises while enhancing their competitiveness rather than just looking at the number of new enterprises entering the market.
Is the economy lacking enterprises leading the production and supply chains - the "leading cranes" in development?
In Việt Nam, State-owned enterprises only account for about 0.07 per cent of the total number of operating enterprises, but 10 per cent of the equity of all enterprises in the market, contributing more than 29 per cent of the country's GDP. State-owned enterprises are holding huge market shares in a number of fields such as energy, telecommunications, and banking. The majority of State-owned enterprises are the "leading cranes".
The Ministry of Planning and Investment has been assigned to research and carry out a project to develop large-scale state-owned enterprises, which will pave the way and lead business from other economic sectors to success.
Currently, we are having some strong private enterprises capable of leading in a number of fields. It’s time to gather them and promote the role of “leading cranes” private enterprises in national economic development.
The Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) published by VCCI for many years has shown that there are still many challenges that hinder local enterprises’ potential develop. What are your thoughts?
Provinces and cities have contributed to positive changes of the business environment recently. However, some fields need to try harder, especially in administrative procedures. Thorough implementation of administrative procedures on online platforms and transparency of all procedures must be emphasised.
Since many administrative procedures related to land, investment, construction, housing, planning, and environment are complicated and costly, entrepreneurs are seeking authorities’ help to reduce the burden of inspection and reduce unofficial cost burdens.
The economic recovery programme between 2022 and 2023 has been approved by the National Assembly. What should be done to make it easier for businesses to access assistance?
The remarkable highlight of the programme was to make institutional reform a separate pillar and reduce VAT from 10 per cent to 8 per cent in 2022.
Due to the negative impact of the pandemic, Việt Nam’s development speed in 2020 and 2021 has slowed down and the risk of missing the development rhythm with the world is clear. Institutional reform solutions will bring great and sustainable benefits. After all, what businesses expect the most is still clear mechanism.
I am very pleased with the speech by Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính at a recent VCCI meeting. He emphasised that "not only the products and goods of our country's enterprises must be able to compete with the products and goods of other countries, but also the quality of laws, administrative procedures, the professionalism of the government apparatus at all levels. Ours must also be competitive with other countries."
I hope that the Government, authorities and localities will thoroughly grasp this spirit of the Prime Minister, quickly implement it in practice, and create conditions to develop a strong team of Vietnamese enterprises, thereby realising the aspiration to build building a strong and prosperous Việt Nam. — VNS