Viet Nam-EU dialogue discusses challenges to doing business in Viet Nam

Government officials and business leaders from Viet Nam and the EU discussed the challenges of doing business in Viet Nam and solutions which can help streamline procedures for international companies in a high-level dialogue on Thursday in Ha Noi.

 

The 4th discussion, held by the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council for Administrative Procedure Reform (ACAPR) and the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham), follows Eurocham’s recent mission to Brussels to advocate for ratification of the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

It gathered hundreds of representatives from European enterprises and the Office of the Government (OOG) to discuss improvements to Viet Nam’s trade and investment environment

“Today’s dialogue shows that the Government is serious about making Viet Nam an even more attractive trade and investment environment and open to the ideas and insights of the European business community,” said Nicolas Audier, chairman of EuroCham.

Eurocham’s chairman appreciated the introduction of the National Public Service Portal – a new electronic platform to better connect the Government with both people and enterprises after nine months of construction.

“This is just one of the many recent positive developments in reforming Viet Nam’s administrative procedures, and we hope events like this will help to support the Government along this positive path of reform in the future,” Audier said.

According to him, this dialogue sends a positive signal at a crucial time in the ratification process of the EVFTA. With a vote in the European Parliament scheduled for the New Year, it has never been more important to show that Viet Nam is open for business and addressing the challenges faced by European enterprises in Viet Nam.

Delegates shared their challenges of market access for goods and investment into Viet Nam, discussing issues including product registration, import-export procedures, and customs processes.

The challenges of circulating products in the market, with issues such as packaging, labelling and advertisement were also raised, along with concerns of European enterprises about challenges in their daily business operations, with questions around tax, customs and licensing.

ACAPR’s Chairman and Minister of the OOG Mai Tien Dung said Vietnamese Government and the Prime Minister paid high attention to administrative reforms, trying to create favourable conditions for businesses to invest in production and business in Viet Nam.

Cutting red tape for doing business is a very important goal of the Government, Dung said, noting that in the course of implementation, the ministries have reduced 3,451 out of 6,926 business conditions, helping businesses save VND894 billion (US$38.5 million).

Specialised inspection and tax and customs reform also saw positive results with the removal of 6,776 of total 9,961 specialised administrative procedures, helping save VND5.44 trillion.

The Prime Minister is urging to hasten reforms on tax and customs issues, he said.

Reform on customs clearance has saved $19/shipment. Dung said with 12 million sets of import and export dossiers, this reform saved $200 million. At the same time, customs clearance time has been reduced from 58 hours to 55 hours for export documents; from 62 hours to 56 hours with the import documents.

Admitting that some difficulties need time, Dung emphasised: “It is important that the Government always listens to the opinions of the business community."

He said that ACAPR would collect all opinions of Eurocham’s businesses at the dialogue and would report to the Prime Minister, proposing the Prime Minister to direct ministries to handle the recommendations.

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