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Private sector pushes state on key reforms
26 | 09 | 2007
The local business community has urged the government to speed up administration and infrastructure reforms to bolster their competitiveness in an era of international integration.

In a recent conference to find measures to boost the private sector, which produces 40 per cent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP), businesses sounded some alarm bells at local authorities’ slowness in reforming business conditions, particularly those relating to transparency, administrative procedures and infrastructure.

Vietnam Handicraft Villages Association president Vu Quoc Tuan said the implementation of many business laws remained sluggish.

“Ministries and local authorities have boasted about their issuance of policies, laws and decrees. However, we are more concerned with when and how they are applied into the real life. This is a quite different story,” Tuan said.

Nguyen Van De, president of Thanh Hoa province’s Association for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises, said there was an acute lack of governmental information, particularly relating to the country’s international integration progress, taxes and land.

“The transmission of policies and other information from the central level to the city and province level is quick. However, it usually slows down or even loses its way to reach the people and the enterprise community,” De said.

Tuan added that in many cases information provided to the business community did not meet their real needs.

“Information transparency that local businesses are demanding does not only relate to the publication of corporate establishment procedures, investment laws or tariffs. They also need to see transparency in the tasks, responsibilities and operations of central and local offices,” he said.

Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Vu Tien Loc also demanded a speeding up of administration reforms, which must be carried out in concert with government agencies’ high performance.

“Being able to anticipate the future business environment is crucial to local enterprises. Therefore, they need to be informed when the government intends to change or build policies, laws and decrees relating to the country’s socio-economic development,” Loc said.

Poor physical and technology infrastructure and human resources also worry businesses, which are hindering their capacity and competitiveness.

“It is the government which can alter the situation by building adequate strategies and policies to improve national infrastructure, human resources and also open more opportunities for the business community to join in,” said Cao Sy Kiem, president of the Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises Association.

Meanwhile, Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers vice president Nguyen Thi Thu Sac demanded greater support to overcome the fisheries sector’s serious skilled labour shortage.

“The state-owned bases which are providing training courses for fisheries staff and workers are much too small and backward, failing to meet the sector’s workforce development demand.

“The government has built no adequate policies to support private firms to actively participate in training programmes,” Sac said.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, more than 70 per cent of the country’s 53 million labourers have not received any training.

Source: VnEconomy
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