Vietnam Business Forum discusses opportunities in changing trade
Updated : Wednesday, December 05, 2018 10:54 AM (GMT+0700)

The Vietnam BusinessForum (VBF) 2018 kicked off in Hanoi on December 4, with discussions focusingon the theme of “Sharing opportunities in the world of changing trade”.

Overview of the Vietnam Business Forum 2018 - Source: VGP

VBF serves as a dialogue mechanism between the Government ofVietnam and the domestic and foreign business communities with the aim ofimproving business conditions to foster the development of private enterprisesand provide the optimal investment environment for Vietnam’s sustainableeconomic growth.

In his opening remarks, Minister of Planning and InvestmentNguyen Chi Dung affirmed that despite impacts of the rapidly changing regionaland global situations on the national economy, the Government has taken drasticmeasures to implement set targets such as stabilizing the macro economy,stepping up administrative reform, and improving the business and investmentenvironment.

These efforts worked, with the macro economy stabilised,inflation curbed below 4 percent, and this year’s economic growth likely tosurpass the set goal of 6.7 percent, Dung said.

Besides, new enterprises numbered around 130,000 in 2018,social investments was estimated at 1.89 quadrillion VND (81.27 billion USD),FDI disbursement hit 18 billion USD, and total export turnover approximated 240billion USD.

The minister attributed the achievements to contributions bythe business community and both domestic and foreign investors.

However, he pointed to several challenges still facing thenation, including inflation pressure, growth quality, labour productivity and competitiveness,climate change, and middle-income trap.

Therefore, he called on the business community to expandtheir engagement in the making of socio-economic development policies and inbusiness and investment activities.

Tomaso Andreatta, Co-Chairman of the VBF Consortium, hailedpositive changes the Vietnamese Government has made to create a stable businessenvironment and encourage start-ups, citing the promulgation of ResolutionNo.19 on improving the business environment and national competitiveness andResolution No.35 on supporting and developing businesses by 2020.

He said the business community has acknowledged andappreciated efforts of ministries, sectors, and localities in reducing businessand investment conditions, reforming specialised inspections, and simplifyingadministrative procedures.

In the context of rapidly changing trade, the US-China tradetension may bring about benefits for Vietnamese enterprises, he said, advisingVietnam to seek ways to take advantage of this opportunity to maintain itseconomic growth.

Sharing the same view, Chairman of the American Chamber ofCommerce (Amcham) in Hanoi Michael Kelly cited statistics of a recent survey onUS enterprises in China as saying that one third of the respondents removed oris considering the removal of their production factories to other countries.

Meanwhile, half of foreign enterprises from other countriesare considering plans to move out of China and Southeast Asia is considered astheir best choice. This is a big opportunity for Vietnam, he said.

However, it is not all good to draw a lot of investmentcapital into the country if foreign-invested enterprises, which are accountingfor over 70 percent of Vietnam’s export value, leave the country, he noted.

That is why businesses need to see continuous and visibleprogress of issues discussed during this VBF’s sessions, he said, proposingineffective administrative procedures be controlled, and the legal frameworkand taxation be stablised and predictable.

Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry VuTien Loc, who is also Co-Chairman of the VBF Consortium, stressed the need forVietnam to step up IT application in all fields, citing that the country climbs81 places in ease of paying taxes in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019thanks to the sector’s expanded IT application.

Minister Dung affirmed that the Vietnamese Government andministries and sectors will exert more efforts to implement socio-economicdevelopment goals, improve the business and investment climate, increase thenational competitiveness, step up innovations and start-ups, and attractforeign investment selectively.

The country will also pay more attention to boosting thepublic-private partnership in the infrastructure field, and improving educationand human resources training in the digital era, he added.

Source: VNA

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