PM to chair first business meeting with thousands companies nationwide

By Toan Dao   April 22, 2016 | 05:02 pm PT
PM to chair first business meeting with thousands companies nationwide
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Photo by VnExpress
The meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on April 29 will be attended by the private sector, equitized SOEs and government officials, according to a government statement on Friday.

“The conference will mainly target the private sector. Vietnam classes foreign-invested companies as members of the country's business community that have a legal right to operate here. This shows the government's equal treatment and interest in these enterprises,” Le Manh Ha, vice chairman of the Government Office, said in a briefing on Friday.

Ha also responded to a question on whether the government plans to invite representatives from the household business sector following recent criminal proceedings bought against a “pho” restaurant owner that the PM intervened in. He said the government will consider the matter.

The meeting, “Vietnam’s Enterprises-the Driving Force for the Country’s Economic Development”, will be held in Ho Chi Minh City. It is part of the new prime minister’s agenda to clear barriers facing enterprises and improve the business environment. It will focus on identifying barriers and initiating measures to create a more favorable business environment for enterprises; and addressing matters raised by businesses including harassment caused by government mechanisms or personnel.

Matters to be raised by businesses at the meeting may include the barriers in the implementation of the Law on Enterprises, taxes, customs, land, construction, interest rate, transportation, environment, market management and informal fees. Ministries and other government bodies will be tasked with advising the central government to settle issues to be raised by businesses, Ha said.

About 500 attendees at the conference will meet online with thousands of people from provinces and cities across the country. They will include central and local government officials and representatives from local private companies, associations, foreign-invested firms and local equitized enterprises (formerly state-owned firms). Invitation letters will be personally signed by the prime minister, the statement said.

Representatives from more than 10 companies from different sectors across the country will have the opportunity to raise their concerns before the government, and they will be addressed by officials from relevant ministries or local governments either at the meeting or at a government conference to be chaired by the prime minister right after the morning meeting.

After the April 29 meeting, the government plans to issue in early May a special resolution named “Resolution on support of Vietnam’s enterprises to become the driving force for the country’s economic development”.

Data from the General Statistics Office shows that 20,044 companies temporarily suspended operations in the first quarter of this year due to business difficulties, rising 23.9 percent year on year. GDP growth in Q1 stood at 5.46 percent, lower than the 6.12 percent recorded in Q1 last year. The number of dissolved enterprises rose to 80,858 in 2015 from 60,737 in 2013.

Phuc on Thursday said the government will not allow the country’s economic growth to decline this year. In order to accomplish this, the Ministry of Planning and Investment has been asked to put forward proposals on the privatization of state-owned companies and encourage the country's growing start-up culture.

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