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More needs to be done to improve business environment

Update: August, 22/2019 - 08:48
Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tiến Dũng on Wednesday chaired a working session with 14 ministries on the removal of business conditions. — Photo chinhphu.vn

HÀ NỘI  — The Prime Minister's working group on Wednesday said that ministries had drastically cut business conditions and administrative procedures in order to facilitate businesses’ activities, but more still needs to be done.

Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tiến Dũng on Wednesday chaired a working session with 14 ministries on the issuance of documents instructing the implementation of business-related laws and the removal of business conditions by these ministries.

“We have done quite well in removing cumbersome business conditions but there are still comments that the real effectiveness of such removal needs to be reviewed,” Dũng said.

Ministries had cut and simplified more than 3,400 out of 6,200 business conditions. More than 6,700 products that previously needed specialised checks were removed from a list of almost 10,000 products.

“In terms of quantity, such numbers show the real determination of ministries in aggressively facilitating businesses’ activities and greatly improving the business environment,” he said.

Nguyễn Đình Cung, Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said such reforms had been highly appreciated by society and the business community and had a real, positive impact on the economic growth rate.

However, he added that the reforms still needed to be done in a more aggressive manner.

According to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), there are still a lot of legal documents on specialised management and inspection (355 documents), which is very difficult for enterprises to search and update.

In many cases, overlapping inspections on certain products still exists – one item is subject to many forms of management by different departments in the same ministry.

Minister Mai Tiến Dũng cited examples such as radars, which are now under the management of both the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Ministry of Transportation, or dairy ingredients, which are now under the management of both the Ministry of Industry and Trade; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; and Ministry of Health.

He quoted VCCI President Vũ Tiến Lộc as saying that there were business conditions, which instead of being removed, turned into business standards or criteria. Or some agencies cut red tape or conditions just for the sake of their “achievements”.

Cung from CIEM said the removal of some conditions didn’t bring about clear and real benefits.

“It’s time for real and practical business conditions removal,” he said.

The working group also asked the ministries to urgently planning to cut business conditions if they had not done so, and publicise the conditions that have been cut. Ministries were also asked to answer questions and requests from enterprises and associations about difficulties and problems with specific cases.

At the meeting, ministries reported specifically on the number of conditions, simplified procedures, reductions, assessment of the quality of simplification and removals through the number of working days and the amount of money saved for businesses.

More results from the ministries will be fully reported at the coming Government meeting this August. — VNS

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