Local reform must be hastened: businesses hinh anh 1A plaster production line of KNAUF Viet Nam in Hai Phong City​ (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - The Government of Vietnam has made accelerated efforts to improve the business climate but more drastic measures must be taken at local levels where firms still face obstacles in doing business, according to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

Resolution 19 has already made positive progress toward improving the business climate and national competitiveness, said Phan Duc Hieu, Deputy Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, at an online conference held on March 23 by the Dien Dan Doanh Nghiep (Business Forum) newspaper.

However, Hieu said the progerss of reform remains slow at many local agencies due to slack officials and lack of accountability, determination as well as cooperation.

"The problem is how the policies are implemented. I have not seen breakthroughs in implementation during the past three years.” Results were still much below the expectations of most firms, he said.

“Challenges are ahead and great effort is needed for this period of reform,” Hieu said, pointing out that reforms must now be hastened in order to realise the Government’s goal of doubling efficient firms to 1 million by 2020.

Hieu said that while several localities were active in quickening reforms, others lacked dynamism. “It is vital to create a transparent and fair working environment to promote the efficiency of State officials. Business associations must play their role in raising their voices and calling for more actions by management agencies to remove difficulties for firms,” said Hieu.

According to Nguyen Van Thoi, President of the Thai Nguyen Province Business Association, policy-makers should force local agencies working directly with businesses to hasten reforms. Due to lack of sanctions, local agencies are stagnant in making changes, he said.

Thoi added that management agencies should regularly hold dialogues with businesses to listen to their difficulties and adopt measures to handle them.

Thoi said that there should be a “meter” to measure results of reforms.

Nguyen Nhan Phuong, President of the Bac Ninh Province Business Association, said administrative procedures remain complicated and time-taking.

Phuong said supports, especially in land policies and credits, targeting small and medium-sized firms should be raised.

At the conference, businesses said that reforms, such as e-tax and e-customs, helped cut business costs significantly, but greater effort were needed.

Experts said that accountability of heads of administrative management agencies must be promoted to speed up reforms. “What businesses want is a reform with quality,” said Dau Anh Tuan, head of the VCCI’s Legal Department.

In April, the Prime Minister will hold a direct dialogue with businesses.-VNA