Making news

EVFTA expected to boost admin reform

Minister - Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung and Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EuroCham) Nicolas Audier co-chaired a dialogue with European enterprises in Vietnam on June 30.

Themed “Administrative Reforms: Key Role in the Implementation of the EVFTA”, the dialogue aimed at discussing administrative reform before the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) takes effect on August 1.

In his opening remarks, Audier called on Vietnam, the EU, and businesses to continue with measures to ensure the effective implementation of the agreement, including the establishment of an EVFTA Business Council to address challenges during the process.

Once the EVFTA comes into effect, one of the most critical factors will be to accelerate Vietnam’s progress in administrative reform - streamlining business conditions, strengthening the business environment, and modernising the legal framework, he said.

Dung, who is also Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council for Administrative Procedure Reform, said it was the third annual dialogue between the council and the European business community in Vietnam since 2018.

He lauded EuroCham's release of the White Book 2020 on the same day, which reflects European companies’ wish to accelerate improvements of Vietnam’s business environment.

Though economic growth this year is forecast to reach just 2.7-4.9 percent due to COVID-19, he said international organisations still believed that Vietnam will be one of only a few countries to post growth because it has been hit less by the pandemic.

Dung said the Vietnamese Prime Minister has directed a number of measures be taken to tackle the difficulties faced in production and trade and food security, step up public investment, and ensure social welfare and social safety and order.

Since the beginning of this year, the Government has cut 239 business conditions, raising the total to nearly 3,900 out of almost 6,200, along with 6,776 out of 9,926 goods subject to specialised inspection and 30 out of 120 administrative procedures related to specialised inspection, he said.

Over 6.3 trillion VND in social cost has been saved each year, the official added.

After being operational for six months, the national single window had provided 725 online public services and saved more than 3 trillion VND each year.

Dung asked firms to speak about their difficulties and suggestions so that the council can collect them for submission to the Prime Minister for consideration.

The White Book 2020, the 12th edition of its kind, was released on the same day. As an annual report from EuroCham, the book details important issues in 17 economic sectors together with recommendations for the Government to improve the business climate and enhance trade and investment with the EU.