Representatives from small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) and experts met in Hanoi on August 13 to discuss the role of enterprises in the Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents.

The conference was organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Ministry of Justice, and the Public Participation and Accountability Facilitation Fund.

A survey of the chamber shows that most SMEs learned of the new laws through internet and television.

About 60 percent of enterprises knew about the laws after they had been released and put into effect, while less than 20 percent knew about the first and draft stages.

More than 80 percent of SMEs said they were not asked for opinions by state-owned organisations.

Dau Anh Tuan, head of the VCCI legislation board, said that the State should utilise internet and television for public awareness; focus on publicity before enforcing laws, and pay more attention to SMEs.

Tuan said that for transparency in the building and enforcing law period, the State should create opportunities for enterprises and citizens to contribute ideas on procedures from draft to enforcement stages.

Vu Xuan Tien from the Vietnam Association of Corporate Directors, said that the nation's law system was being built on the principle of outline law, which consisted of many provisions, but lacked specific and practical ones.

He said the law contents were not enough to lay the foundation for specific regulations and implementation.

The lack of specific and practical laws made the legal system unclear and decreased the confidence of citizens and enterprises in State laws, he added.

Tien also suggested draft boards should collect opinions and post explanations on Government websites to inform citizens and enterprises.

Mai Dinh Manh, General Secretary of the Vietnam Electro-technical Industry Association, said that the State should consider that opinions from SMEs community and law experts were critical.

Nguyen Kim Dung from Apollo English Training Centre said that enterprises often found it difficult to operate properly when the time from laws to circulars was very long.

The draft of the Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents was released on August 5. It aims to lay a complete and unified foundation for law-making activities.-VNA