Vietnam cleaning up its business environment - survey

By Minh Son   May 17, 2017 | 12:00 am GMT+7
Vietnam cleaning up its business environment - survey
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) talks with businesses at a recent meeting. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Son

Notable improvements have been made to tax and admin procedures a year since the PM's first official meeting with local businesses.

Vietnam has taken significant steps to improve its business environment since an official meeting between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and local companies in April last year.

Around 96 percent of the more than 4,700 administrative procedures needed to conduct business in Vietnam have been simplified, official government data showed.

The government has also looked into 77 percent of the 1,100 proposals made by businesses over the past year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

In a new report on Vietnam’s business environment, the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) said the country is making itself more attractive to investors and up to 36 percent of surveyed U.S. firms said they want to expand their operations in Vietnam, compared to 21 percent in Thailand and 19 percent in Malaysia.

In February, the Japan External Trade Organization also revealed that more than 60 percent of the 640 Japanese firms it surveyed said they have plans to expand their businesses in Vietnam.

Over 75 percent of surveyed businesses expressed satisfaction with tax reforms in 2016, slightly up from 71 percent in 2014, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said last month.

Regarding inspections, PM Phuc sent out an official letter on Tuesday asking relevant ministries and departments to avoid targeting the same companies, a problem that many firms have complained about.

The PM's second meeting with local businesses is taking place on Wednesday in Hanoi, and is expected to gather around 2,000 participants.

As of April 20, around 612,000 companies were officially operating in Vietnam.

More than 39,500 new firms registered in Vietnam in the first four months of this year, up 14 percent against the same period last year; and 11,500 firms resumed operations, up 1.9 percent, according to the VCCI.