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New decrees grease the wheels of local economy
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung - 7/19/2016 3:51:02 PM
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The Vietnamese economy is bouncing back as enterprises are growing more confident. Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung spoke with VIR’s Bao Duy about the expectation for greater economic recovery in the remaining months of this year.

It seems that the goal of 6.7 per cent in economic growth for this year will be difficult to achieve. What do you think about this?

In the first half of the year, the global economy became increasingly complicated, with a series of unfavourable developments affecting the local economy.

Vietnam’s six-month GDP grew only 5.52 per cent, far lower than the 6.47 per cent growth recorded in the same period last year. Despite some recovery in the manufacturing and processing sector, the agro-forestry-fishery sector suffered from heavy damages due to natural calamities, environmental issues, and slashes in oil prices.

Therefore, it would not be easy to reach the economic growth target of 6.7 per cent. If we want to reach it, the growth rate for the year’s second half must average at 7.6 per cent. This would be quite a challenge and would require greater efforts from all sectors to come up with effective solutions.

We must be patient in applying long-term solutions. The key to firmly maintain economic stability is to strictly control inflation and ensure harmonious management of interest and exchange rates.

A big focus must be placed on recovering production, especially in the agricultural and processing sectors, and taking advantage of free trade agreements to boost exports.

Additionally, disbursements of all investment sources, especially public investment and foreign direct investment, need to be accelerated.

I would also say that the recovery of enterprises serves as an important foundation for boosting the economic growth in the remaining months of the year, and for the future. The government is now focusing on administrative reform and improvement of the investment climate to spur enterprises’ hope and confidence.

At a recent dialogue with the enterprise community, you said that supporting enterprises would continue to be a priority of the government in the new term. Could you elaborate on this?

The government is certainly focusing on supporting enterprises. For example, in just one month the government enacted two resolutions, including Resolution 19-2016/NQ-CP and Resolution 35/2016/NQ-CP regarding administrative reform and improvement of investment climate to support enterprises.

Over the past two months, the government has ordered the completion of all guiding documents of the new laws. For instance, in order to make the Law on Investment feasible, 50 decrees on business conditions have been promulgated and came into effect on July 1, 2016. This has wholly annulled all sub-licenses that have caused difficulty for enterprises over the past many years.

I think that the effects of these solutions may be seen a bit later as it would depend largely on how the solutions are implemented in localities, ministries, and across sectors.

We are now seeing a path to reach the finish line for this year, but more importantly, we must run towards that line as fast as possible.

Do you feel optimistic with the changes in Vietnam’s business and investment climate over the past year?

We know that some are concerned about the quality  and the stipulation of business conditions in the

decrees, instead of being in the circulars, as it was previously.

We also noticed that there has been a gap in the implementation of new documents by the government and by lower level authorities.

However, I would like to reaffirm our high political determination in helping enterprises out of challenges. The determination has been pervading among all agencies in the country.

For example, the government ordered the rapid review of business conditions, and stipulated that documents must be of high quality. It has become a clear-cut principle that all business conditions must be reviewed. Only necessary conditions that meet all requirements of the law are allowed to be enacted.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has made great efforts to co-operate with other ministries in order to produce the best legal documents within a very short period of time.

I would say that the recent review of business conditions is a result of Vietnam’s new development period, where enterprises and investors need updated reports.

We have also asked the government to continue to review the existing legal documents in order to make sure that any obstacle to business will be removed.

The MPI was assigned by the government to draft a law on revising and supplementing the laws on investment and business. Provisions that are unsuitable to business and go against the country’s international integration trend and firms’ performance, will have to be adjusted. Specialised laws will also be reviewed accordingly.

Additionally, a good policy needs good people to implement it. We will make sure that the officials and staff in the planning and investment sectors are aware of and understand the government’s resolutions and the prime minister’s directions.
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