Enterprises need action and practical efficiency


Dr. Nguyen Minh Thao
Dr. Nguyen Minh Thao

Could you please share your assessment after looking back on some goals and tasks on improving the business environment and enhancing national competitiveness in 2022?

2022 is a rather special year for the economy as well as for businesses. From the beginning of 2022, the Government issued Resolution 02/NQ-CP with very ambitious goals and set targets for the whole of 2022-2025. However, in the context of 2022 with many fluctuations in geopolitics, prices as well as on the world market, it has had a great impact on businesses and then on the business environment of Vietnam.

Therefore, in 2022, on some international rankings, it can be seen that Vietnam has improved in business environment and national competitiveness, but it is still very slow. Especially the indicators associated with enterprises, the indicators on the business environment seem to be still very slow to be reformed. From that, it can be seen that, even from an international perspective, efforts to reform the business environment in Vietnam are showing signs of slowing down.

From a domestic perspective, it can be seen that, in the current context, with the pressure of the recovery and volatility from the market, there should be stronger, more drastic and more attentive action from the investors. From ministries and local branches to businesses, it seems that our efforts to reform institutions and regulations on business conditions in 2022 may not be as successful as enterprises’ expectations.

Many businesses believe that the Government’s companionship and drastic implementation of business environment reform are needed. What is your opinion on this matter?

Recently, when we work with associations, the business community finds that businesses are feeling insecure when barriers in terms of business conditions are still creating huge burdens, especially those related to fire protection or business conditions related to environmental sanitation and safety.

Even though the business support program has brought initial results, it has not really created trust among businesses. Regarding tax support packages such as a 2% VAT reduction, although it is considered easy to access, businesses believe that the implementation time is too short, lasting only until the end of 2022.

There have been many changes with heavy pressure from the declining market, and heavy pressure on costs on prices. Or for the 2% interest rate support package, at first, businesses expect that the support package will create good financial leverage for businesses, but through the survey, it is not easy for businesses to access this support package, and almost the disbursement rate is very low.

After 9 years of independent existence, in 2023 – for the first time, the content of improving the business environment and enhancing competitiveness is integrated into Resolution 01/NQ-CP of the Government on tasks and solutions, mainly implementing the socio-economic development plan, estimating the state budget and improving the business environment and national competitiveness in 2023. What are the expectations of the business community?

The inclusion of Resolution 02 into Resolution 01 in 2023 has affirmed that, along with the Government’s executive directions, improving the business environment is an important task in the operation and socio-economic development of the Government. This is the new approach of the Government, which is suitable for the new context and will increase the pressure as well as the motivation for reform.

Enterprises have a lot of problems and especially in the current context, the expectation of the business is very great and the enterprise hopes to be accompanied by practical action and effectiveness, by the main regulations. The policy is revised, with the flexibility of local authorities, with the support of enforcement officials.

In particular, the status of regular inspections is causing a lot of difficulties for businesses and often at the end of the year. This is a fact that this happened in the second half of 2022 and it seems that we are forgetting Directive 20/CT-TTg of 2017 on rectification of inspection and examination activities for enterprises issued by the Prime Minister, including regulations on inspecting enterprises once and avoiding overlapping so that enterprises can comply, creating more favorable conditions for enterprises in production and business activities.

In particular, there is still a situation in that not only the ministries and branches perform many inspections but also many localities. This is one of the barriers that create a very heavy mentality for businesses when they are struggling with difficulties in production and business activities.

In 2023, with the solutions and goals clearly stated in Resolution 01, I hope that the Government, along with ministries and local agencies, will accompany businesses to clear their minds as well as create business confidence in production and business.

I also believe that in the process of reform, it is not simply the responsibility of the policy-making agency, but the coordination of many parties, including a policy-making agency, and an implementing agency, and there are also those directly affected by the policy, namely businesses.

Besides, although the rate of connecting administrative procedures through the electronic environment is quite high, it is still only a formality. In fact, it is very difficult for businesses to carry out paperwork on an electronic platform and only a few procedures can be done. Thus, speeding up administrative procedures through the electronic environment is considered one of the effective channels to improve the business environment to support enterprises.

In addition, ministries, branches and localities can change and improve the efficiency of business support services, especially related to legal documents, legal regulations, administrative procedures, so that businesses can access and have the opportunity to comply with the right laws.

If we implement reform solutions in a substantive way, bringing about a safe business environment for businesses, then in any difficult situation, Vietnamese businesses can be creative and find new ways of doing things, thereby recovering through difficult times, and at the same time orienting for future development. This is considered the driving force and the “key” for growth in 2023 and the coming years.


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