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PM orders crackdown on business harassment among authorities
The Saigon Times Daily
Monday,  Dec 23, 2019,20:12 (GMT+7)

PM orders crackdown on business harassment among authorities

The Saigon Times Daily

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc inspects a vase on display at a conference between the Cabinet leader and the business community, held in Hanoi on December 23. He pledged to help enterprises overcome their obstacles – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has demanded an end to the abuse of power among public officials accused of harassing firms that have made errors or have had disagreements with them.

The Cabinet leader was speaking at a business conference in Hanoi today, December 23, according to the local media.

The event brought together some 3,000 delegates, including leaders from ministries and local governments and business executives. This was the third dialogue between the prime minister and the business community since he assumed office in 2016.

The PM said that all the opinions of the business community must be heard and respected, and authorities must discuss and analyze them to make the best decisions.

Regulatory agencies must rid themselves of officials who harass firms and make production and business activities difficult because of petty corruption or poor management, stressed the PM.

He pointed out that these troublesome acts could cost firms time and could lead them to lose investment opportunities.

Firms should take the lead in the prevention of and fight against corruption, and they should not offer bribes, he noted.

The PM asked policymakers to formulate more open policies to enable enterprises to address their difficulties more easily and thus make significant progress in their business activities.

He said private firms should be allowed to get involved in sectors traditionally held by State-owned enterprises, including the provision of public services but excluding sensitive sectors related to national security and defense and macromanagement.

He also urged regulatory authorities to improve the business environment by resolving issues concerning insolvency, the ease of paying taxes, procedures for starting a business, the protection of small investors and law enforcement, particularly access to land.

He demanded further reductions in the number of conditional business sectors, the simplification of regulations on business requirements and significant governance changes from pre- and post-checks.

It is vital to review, amend and finalize procedures related to land, investment, construction and the environment as firms spend a significant amount of time on these processes, according to the PM.

Better financial incentives are needed to encourage firms to adopt sustainable and inclusive business models, such as the application of advanced technologies, the efficient use of natural resources and energy, smart production and environmental protection.

He asked local authorities to revitalize their thinking and enhance their governance capacities to meet the needs of their local business communities and investors.

Local governments should take steps to fight discrimination between domestic and foreign enterprises, State-owned and private enterprises, firms and business households and large and small firms, stated the PM.

Four issues affecting business community

The PM raised four issues for the business community to discuss.

First, he asked businesses to report the difficulties they often encounter in production and business, such as planning, access to land and credit, employment, administrative procedures, taxes, customs, licenses, water and power supplies and inspections.

Secondly, he wanted to know about the challenges and pressures businesses are facing in the context of the global economic downturn, national economic integration and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as well as businesses’ proposals for government support to increase their resilience and competitiveness.

The PM also asked the business community to recommend solutions to help the Government accomplish its goals for 2020 and the next five years.

Thirdly, the PM requested businesses to present ideas for breakthrough changes in incentive systems applied to them.

Finally, he invited businesses’ initiatives for improving interactions between ministries and localities and sharing effective business models and the best practices of localities.

He highlighted the spirit of thinking big and taking bold actions to make dreams come true. However, he warned enterprises against violating laws.

“We should say no to acts of trade fraud and the production of fake, pirated and poor-quality goods,” he noted, urging firms to build up their brands and establish a firm foothold in domestic and foreign markets.

The PM said that after the conference, the Government would release a resolution intended to make life easier for enterprises.

The Government is determined to enhance Vietnam’s business environment and competitiveness.

In 2019, the country is expected to see 136,000 enterprises being newly set up, bringing the total number of operating businesses to some 760,000.

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