Don Lam, VinaCapital General Director, said Vietnam has exerted efforts to improve the business climate, evidenced by higher rankings in surveys conducted by the World Bank.
However, half of the surveyed enterprises confirmed that regulatory barriers, including overlapping, unclear and inefficient regulations, are hurting them, diminishing the sector’s competitiveness.
Ho Sy Hung, head of the Enterprise Development Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said over the past few years, the size of private enterprises has not improved, in terms of capital or the average number of employees, making it hard for them to invest in technology, machinery and fixed assets to reduce costs.
The failure to expand has also made cumbersome administrative procedures a bigger problem, such as inconsistency between the Law on Investment, the Law on Environmental Protection, the Land Law and the Construction Law.
Hung admitted that enterprises, especially small and medium-sized ones, struggle to access loans and credit guarantees. He suggested offering loan packages with reasonable interest rates and transparent and simple lending procedures and diversifying banking products and services to increase access to capital.
Economist Vu Dinh Anh said policies and mechanisms for the private sector must be based on the principle of “equality, no preference, respect and initiative”.
The results of the survey indicated that 63% of respondents plan to expand operations while 44% reported they have missed out on business opportunities due to legal barriers and market restrictions.
Up to 37% of firms said their operations performed better in 2017 than in previous years while 43% of others expressed expectations that the economy will improve.