Vietnam plans big push to catch up with Singapore, Thailand

By VnExpress   February 8, 2017 | 09:00 am PT
Vietnam plans big push to catch up with Singapore, Thailand
Vietnam is trying to keep up with the top four economies in Southeast Asia in terms of business climate. Photo by Reuters
The goal is to cut half the time needed for business registration and simplify customs procedures this year.

Vietnam aims to improve its business environment to reach the average level of the regional top four economies Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, together known as ASEAN 4.

Under a new plan for this year, the government said the country should try harder to crack the top 70 countries in terms of the ease of starting a business, the top 80 in terms of protection of minority investors, and the top 30 in transparency and access to credit under the World Bank's criteria.

According to the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, Vietnam ranked 82nd out of 190 economies globally in 2016.

By the end of this year, the country should be able to reduce the time required for business registration from six days to three days.

The time a company has to spend on tax and social insurance procedures will be cut to 168 hours per year.

Vietnam also wants to shorten the time dealing with construction permits to below 120 days. Customs clearance will be simplified so that it will take only 70 hours for exports and 90 hours for imports, instead of 10 days last year.

According to the Global Competitive Report of the World Economic Forum, Vietnam dropped to number 60 last year from 56 in 2015, behind all the top four ASEAN economies.

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