Entrepreneurial community anxious about conditional business review

Relevant guiding decrees on conditional businesses are slated for enactment no later than July 1, 2016, when thousands of business conditions will become invalidated by the amended Investment Law 2014. Phan Duc Hieu, deputy director of Central Institute for Economic Management, sheds light on the latest progress of the process and affirms the government’s commitment to step up support for the business community through simplifying conditional business requirements.

As of now, there is a high possibility that the relevant guiding decrees on conditional businesses will be enacted by July 1, 2016. Are speculations about the deadline accurate?

By now most of the ministries and sectors have compiled the draft versions of relevant guiding decrees. The next step is appraisal and submission to the government for enactment.

Being directly involved in the process, I recognise that the prime minister and the government have been proactively instructing relevant government agencies and sectors to speed up the process of reviewing and addressing improper business conditions, which were previously enacted by management agencies and sectors.

The government is committed to the timely enactment of the guiding decrees with assured quality.

Relevant agencies, including the Ministry of Justice, the Government Office, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, have also proven their high sense of responsibility in evaluating relevant draft decrees.

Does this signify that by July 1, 2016 more than 3,000 improper business conditions previously enacted by ministries and sectors will have new legal groundwork?

This is also a question we want to raise at this very time. First and foremost, I want to remind you of the true spirit of the amended Investment Law 2014 in respect to the revision and amendment of business conditions.

First, business conditions which are yet to be reviewed and included in respective decrees will be invalidated from July 1, 2016.

Second, ministries and sectors are required to review conditional businesses which were improperly enacted under Investment Law 2014 in a comprehensive manner with a view to remove unnecessary conditions and amend unreasonable ones.

During the review process, we have required the ministries and agencies to assess the implications and efficiency of existing business conditions. From there, they will decide whether to remove or revise questionable business conditions to ensure their legitimacy.

In recent workshops on conditional businesses firms voiced concerns about the introduction of new business conditions by the upcoming guiding decrees. Is there a prospect of a significantly changed playing field?

If the ministries and sectors were not transparent about the number of conditional businesses reviewed and conditions removed or simplified, or whether there will be newly supplemented conditions, the business community and society have the right to raise suspicion. The matter here is the accountability and information disclosure responsibilities of relevant ministries and sectors.

Therefore, in my stance, relevant ministries and sectors need to publicise this information shortly and in full, enabling firms to feed in with comments in a timely manner.

By Khanh An