PM-chaired meeting flooded with foreign investors' policy recommendations

By Toan Dao   April 29, 2016 | 03:30 pm GMT+7
PM-chaired meeting flooded with foreign investors' policy recommendations
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and delegates before the meeting. Photo by VGP News

Foreign investors raised their most burning issues at the first nationwide meeting by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc with business sector.

Around 1,000 attendees at the conference in Ho Chi Minh City, chaired by Phuc, met online with about 10,000 people across the country, including government officials and representatives from local and foreign companies.

“The government and I place the highest priority on following the Constitution and renovating government management, while protecting businesses' assets and rights,” the prime minister said, adding that barriers such as corruption need to be removed in order for enterprises to thrive.

Below are the major proposals suggested by foreign investors during the meeting:

The American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam said the country should approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership; further push administrative reforms; apply measures to reduce paperwork for administrative and monetary transactions; apply global standards in accounting; and cooperate to stimulate human resources in economics, science, technology and industry.

Amcham said it wants to continue cooperating with the government to deal with air and water pollution and other problems involving climate change in the Mekong Delta. It also asked the government to give high priority to developing renewable energy.

The Japan Business Association in Vietnam said competitiveness and the business environment in Vietnam will improve. Vietnam should put high priorities on investment in IT, software and agriculture, which are areas that interest Japanese investors, it said.

It asked Vietnamese government to focus on developing human resources in IT, software, particularly putting training of IT skills in schooling programs. Japanese companies would like to cooperate in this field.

Vietnam has considerable advantages in agriculture and will profit if the country applies advanced technologies and expands its market. Japanese enterprises are willing to cooperate with Vietnamese firms on agricultural development.

The representative from the Japan Business Association also asked Vietnam to consider modifying some regulations on the investment law, extra working time, imports of used machinery and equipments, customs clearance and investment licenses so that Vietnamese regulations are in accordance with global practices.

The South Korean Business Association representative wanted the government to make reform in granting working permit for foreigners in Vietnam, establishing a committee on institutional reform headed by the prime minister, strongly improving regulations and addressing issues raised by enterprises.

The European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam wants to further cooperate in the development of renewable energy; allow companies from Europe to open representative offices and cooperate with Vietnamese partners to develop pharmaceutical and biological products, and healthcare equipment. It also asked for tax incentives in the processing and manufacturing sector, Euro-IV fuel supplies in accordance with the plan to develop the automobile industry and close collaboration on the implementation of intellectual rights.

Registered foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam hit $22.76 billion in 2015, rising 12.5 percent year on year. South Korea was the top FDI source with $2.68 billion, followed by Malaysia with $2.45 billion, Japan with $1.28 billion, the United Kingdom with $1.26 billion and Taiwan with $940.4 million, data from the General Statistics Office showed.