Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc speaks at a monthly Government meeting in Hà Nội yesterday.— VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc highlighted a number of issues that are slowing down the country’s efforts to improve its investment environment during a monthly Government meeting in Hà Nội yesterday.
“Just this morning, I was informed by the head of the Government Office that there was an incident in which a locality needed to make 33 trips to a local construction department to make adjustments to their plan,” he told the meeting.
The PM urged all government offices both on the central and local level to contribute to the nation’s campaign to support investment and development. He said this was the only way for the whole system to move forward, with every single gear moving in the same direction.
The PM said measures must be taken to address a few issues in particular. Several of the country’s ease of doing business indicators could be improved, including starting a business, in which the country ranks 123 out of 190, and resolving insolvency, where it ranks 129 of 190, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 ranking.
However, he was optimistic about recent reforms to facilitate investment. During the first quarter of 2018, more than 41,000 businesses were registered, with 11,000 making comebacks into the market.
There have been positive reports from the manufacturing, tourism and retail sectors. The country’s total net exports reached US$74 billion, an increase of 20 per cent compared to the same period last year. Almost half a million new jobs were created and 38,000 Vietnamese labourers left to work overseas. The economy is stable and inflation is under control with investors and consumers displaying optimism for the near future.
On the other hand, the PM pointed out that a large number of business bore numerous logistics and inspection costs, which must be reduced to support business growth.
“We have the Government’s Deputy Chief Inspector here today. I would like to ask him to personally look into incidents in which certain businesses were inspected over and over by different inspector offices. This is a cause for concern for all of us,” said the PM.
The PM urged the Ministry of Education and Training to produce a report to the Government regarding hygiene in the public school system as well as efforts to prevent drowning accidents among students.
Among other topics were recent incidents that attracted great public attention, such as major crime syndicates behind online gambling operations, the Đà Nẵng land grab scandal and the World Mission Society Church of God.
The PM lauded security branches in each case for their work, saying the law must be upheld and no exceptions can be made in the fight against crimes and corruption.
Later the same day, Government members discussed the socio-economic situation of the first four months of the year and some issues of great public concern relating to State management responsibility.
Concluding the meeting, PM Phúc pointed to the need to renew policies and mechanisms to keep up with the development pace of the world economy.
Although the business and investment environment has been improved, shortcomings remain, he said, citing low labour productivity and limited management capacity, subpar information technology development and limited labour skills.
He urged relevant ministries and agencies to continue implementing solutions set by the Party, Government and National Assembly to deal with shortcomings and keep close watch over domestic and international development in order to respond in a timely manner.
They were also asked to focus on dealing with shortcomings in issues such as food safety and hygiene, smuggling, trade fraud and deforestation.
The PM stressed that building and finalising the legal system was the top priority in 2018 and in the following years. The Government will pay special attention to removing regulations hindering socio-economic development.
He also required relevant ministries and agencies to review and amend legal documents relating to business and investment conditions and to ensure transparency in issues relating to market prices, land and public assets to avoid losses.
Regarding key solutions, the PM stressed measures to continue stabilising the macro economy, curb inflation and promote growth to reach a target of at least 6.7 per cent growth in 2018 and to keep inflation under 4 per cent.
He also asked to speed up tasks relating to land clearance to hasten public investment projects and strictly punish organisations or individuals that caused project delays.
Concerning exports, he requested the Ministry of Industry and Trade and relevant ministries and agencies to increase trade promotion, seek markets and enhance domestic production capacity.
Together with restructuring the economy, it is necessary to speed up the construction of new rural areas, increase equitisation of State businesses and continue implementing Resolutions on health care, population and poverty reduction. — VNS