A string of recent moves to reform mechanisms and tax and customs policies have resulted in encouraging outcomes, evidenced by a number of improved business indexes.

Dang Phuong Dung, General Secretary of the Vietnam Textiles and Garment Association, said cumbersome customs and payment procedures which once hampered the sector’s exports have been simplified and processed via e-channels.

The piloted granting of certificates of origin through the Internet, conducted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the General Department of Vietnam Customs, has also helped businesses save time and expenses, she said, considering the reforms as initial steps to be expanded upon.

Deputy Director General of the General Statistics Office (GSO) Pham Quang Vinh said the number of newly established companies increased significantly, demonstrating the business circle’s effective efforts and the efficiency of measures taken by the Government, ministries, and sectors to improve the business environment.

In the first half of 2015, 45,406 enterprises registered for establishment with a total registered capital of over 282.39 trillion VND (12.98 billion USD), representing respective gains of 21.7 percent and 22.3 percent from a year before.

The number of those suspending operations or dissolving was equivalent to only 5.9 percent of the total operational firms, much lower than the usual figure of between 12 and 14 percent, data from the GSO shows.

According to a recent GSO survey, 40.5 percent of the 3,389 companies questioned perceived their business situation in the second quarter to be more positive than the previous three months. Another 39.4 percent said the situation remained stable while the remaining 20.1 percent reported difficulties.

Director of the GSO’s Industrial Statistics Department Pham Dinh Thuy partly attributed such an upbeat situation to the promulgation of the amended Law on Enterprises which breaks down regulation obstacles.

He considered 2015 a business recovery period fostered by the implementation of Government Decree 19/NQ-CP dated March 12, 2015 on solutions to improve the business climate and national competiveness.

Three months since the decree’s enforcement, the Ministry of Planning and Investment proposed the removal of nearly 3,300 business conditions stipulated in 170 ministerial circulars and decisions, Minister Bui Quang Vinh said.

Relevant agencies also streamlined 4,431 of 4,723 administrative procedures specified in 25 Government decrees, accounting for 93.8 percent. A number of ministries and sectors have also connected to the national single-window system and applied information technology in handling procedures.

Business associations expect more concrete solutions from the Government, such as reducing taxes and rescheduling tax and charge payment deadlines, to help them reduce input expenses. Authorised agencies should also avoid unannounced policy changes and facilitate companies’ access to concessional bank loans.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh said the Cabinet is willing to engage in dialogues with enterprises to provide support as practically as possible.-VNA