Scene at the forum (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - The Vietnam Business Forum 2016 opened on December 5 in Hanoi focusing on strengthening the role of the private economic sector through fostering the partnership between domestic and foreign enterprises.

In opening the annual event, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the business community in Vietnam saw developments in both terms of quantity and quality in 2016, but still the domestic enterprises are not strong enough to make effective integration, without any representative able to join the global value and supply chains.  

The minister also recalled the lesson of environmental protection in association with investment projects, stressing that it is the lesson for not only the State but also enterprises themselves. He reiterated that environment protection is a priority of the Government in its strategy for green and sustainable development, and called on the business community to pay due attention to this issue.

Participants at the forum took note of breakthrough changes in the business environment in Vietnam and the Vietnamese government’s efforts and resolve in facilitating the operation of enterprises and investors.   

Kyle F. Kelhofer, country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos of the International Financial Corporation, appreciated the unceasing endeavours of the Government in maintaining macro-economic stability and keeping public debt within permissible level, adding that the role of the private economic sector has received more attention.

Addressing the forum on behalf of the domestic business community, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc asked the Government to tighten discipline in the execution of duty while enhancing the supervision and feedback of the public and enterprises.

He urged the Government to draft a bill to revise laws related to investment and business environment, adding that the revision of laws should be done regularly as the situation keeps changing rapidly.

The business community also proposed that the Government promptly submit to the National Assembly revisions to the Labour Code regarding regulations on overtime work, wage and social insurance to ensure the economy’s competitiveness.

On behalf of the US business and investor community, Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam Virginia B. Foote asked the Vietnamese Government to pay attention to five issues that need improvements, which were facilitating the private sector; developing human resources; addressing net security problems; enforcing the Trade Facilitation Agreement; and facilitating travel to develop tourism.

 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomed the opinions of the business community, saying that the Government is always ready for open and straightforward dialogue in order to seek the most appropriate and effective solutions for Vietnam to achieve fast, sustainable and harmonious development.      

He noted that the reality of the 30-year Doi Moi (renewal) process has proved convincingly that the private economic sector is an important driving force of the Vietnamese economy.

The PM cited statistics that showed the country now has nearly 600,000 firms. 2016 is the first year when Vietnam saw more than 100,000 new firms established, which means an average 12 firms set up per one hour.

According to the PM, the 3.5 million business households in the country hold great potential for realising the goal of 1 million firms by 2020.      

At the same time, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc laid stress on the important role played by 21,000 foreign-invested enterprises in the country. The FDI enterprises have invested a combined 300 billion USD in Vietnam. Total FDI capital flow into Vietnam has topped 17 billion USD in 2016.

In its 2016-2020 socio-economic development strategy, Vietnam is determined to create every possible favourable conditions for the development of enterprises, especially private ones, thus creating a driving force to elevate competitiveness and self-reliance for the national economy, he said.

The PM emphasized that in saying Vietnamese enterprises, it also means FDI enterprises with legal person status in Vietnam and domestic enterprises. “This is the Government’s major direction in forming a connected and effective Vietnamese business community,” he said.

 PM Phuc reiterated the government’s commitment to continued efforts to complete the market economic institutions along with policies and laws, push forward with administrative reform, enhance the national competitiveness and create favourable conditions for the private sector to develop strongly.

The Government will work to raise the essential WB-rated national investment environment indexes and WEF-rated competitiveness index to the average level of the ASEAN-4 countries, he said.

The PM called on the Vietnamese business community to actively participate in the process of economic restructuring through diversifying investments with a priority for the PPP form, stimulating startup business and innovation spirit, and increasing win-win partnership between the domestic private FDI sectors.

He urged FDI businesses to trust Vietnam’s reforms and accelerate the transfer of advanced technology, human resource training and the sharing of corporate governance experience while upholding their responsibility to society and joining hands with Vietnam in protecting natural resource and the environment.

  PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc instructed ministries and agencies study proposals and recommendations put forth at the forum with a view to supplementing and adjusting related policies and legal documents to align with the market economy and international practice.    

“The Government will make all-out efforts so that the Vietnamese business community can closely connect and grow in the Vietnamese economy and successfully rise up to the world stage,” the PM told the forum./.