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The Prime Minister: We must see changes in 2015
Updated: 1/12/2015 10:47:20 AM GMT + 7
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung stressed that the improvement of business environment is "vital”; non-performing heads of agencies should "be asked to take other jobs”.

Improvement of business environment, and strengthening of national competiveness took up most of the debate at the Government’s 2014 year end meeting on December 30, 2014. It also was the central issue of the Government’s meeting with provinces that took place on December 29.

At the review meeting of the implementation of Resolution 19/NQ-CP dated March 18, 2014 on improvement of business environment and strengthening of national competiveness, Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said that no implementation of any other sector specific Resolution had been reviewed twice within 9 months of its issuance [like Resolution 19]. The first review meeting took place at the government regular meeting in September, or 6 months after the implementation started.



Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung agreed that the Government would issue a resolution to further strengthen the spirit of Resolution 19 right at the beginning of 2015, outlining "to-dos” in each sector. Photo:

 Reform cannot be done on paper

Ministry of Planning And Investment suggested to continue a vigorous and persistent implementation of Resolution 19 in 2015 in order to improve Vietnam’s business environment index to at least the World Bank’s ASEAN-6 average by the end of 2015. In addition to consolidating the achievements in taxation, social security, and business start-up, etc. the reform should also focus on improving contract enforcement, enterprise bankruptcy procedures and construction permits.

The second key task is to review export / import goods inspection procedures—the biggest issue in customs clearance at the moment. Ministry of Planning And Investment sees this as an important issue that need immediate solution.

At the same time the list of 267 conditional business types and corresponding conditionalities need to be reviewed with the aim to keep only those business types that are truly needed in order to change the role of the state towards facilitating business activities of enterprises and other activities of the people.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Chairman of the National Council on Sustainable Development and Enhanced Competiveness stated that Resolution 19 has strengthened confidence of businesses and the international community regarding the Government’s commitment to reform.

"But frankly speaking we have only reviewed and implemented changes on paper. The number of reduced hours for completing procedures is only a calculated value. The next step is to make this happen in every enterprise. If we cannot continue this in 2015, the changes in 2014 will be counter-productive”, said the Deputy Prime Minister.

At the same time, we need to pick several focus areas to implement reform in 2015. The National Council on Sustainable Development and Enhanced Competiveness will submit to the Prime Minister a resolution for implementation in 2015 that is similar to Resolution 19.

There is nothing justifying that it is infeasible

In concluding the meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung reiterated that the Government issued Resolution 19 to respond to the requirements of development and integration and to address internal constraints of the economy. Improving the business environment is a vital task considering the development of the market economy and international integration. "International integration means to compete to develop. There is no other option”.

"Everyone at every level complain about the cumbersome, inefficient administration and procedures. But where are the problems? How can they be solved? Resolution 19 has put forward specific solutions to the problems. We have picked the [right] problems. We have achieved initial results. Now it is time to persistently continue the process”, said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister requested to vigorously and persistently continue the implementation of Resolution 19. Right at the beginning of 2015 the public administrative reform index of all provinces and ministries should be made public. "One should be transparent both in terms of progress and setback. Only doing that way we can improve ourselves”, said the Prime Minister.

Regarding the bottleneck of sector specific goods inspection resulting in delayed customs clearance the Prime Minister said: "Other countries also protect their producers; they also protect their environment; but their procedures are convenient. Why don’t we learn from them? We should look into our own problems and learn from other’s experience in order to make more specific improvement proposals”.

"There is nothing justifying that we are behind others. I want to see changes in 2015”, requested the Prime Minister.

On achievements, the Head of the Government noted that the reforms, too, are on paper only. He paid a particular attention to implementation by government officials. "It takes only 3 seconds to clear goods in the green line, but enterprises cannot do anything if the officer in charge does not want to work”.

Responding to some reservations regarding the shift from pre-check to post-check the Prime Minister did not agree with the idea of going back to pre-check method for all enterprises only because some enterprises have violated the rules. That would make doing business more difficult for the majority who comply. The question here is to improve the post-check rules and to apply fines on violating companies.

The Prime Minister agreed that the Government would soon issue a new resolution to continue the spirit of Resolution 19 outlining the "to-dos” in each sector.

"It has proved that strong actions would result in specific outcomes. We need to point out where are problems, what need to be improved, who is going to do that, when will it be finished, etc. We will only make progress if we pursue that route. We you all contribute we will together achieve it. If a head of an agency does not perform, he should be asked to take another job”, said the Prime Minister firmly.


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