SOE reform tops 2013 business forum’s agenda

(VOV) - The 2013 Vietnam Business Forum, to be held in Hanoi on December 3, will focus on the restructuring of State-owned enterprises (SOEs), commercial banks, and the capital market, as well as corporate governance and transparency.

Vietnam Business Forum board member Alain Cany announced the working agenda of the forum at a press briefing in Hanoi on December 1.

He said the year-end meeting, themed ‘New Phase of Economic Reform: From Agenda to Action’, is expected to create a forum for government officials and the domestic and foreign business communities to discuss and seek workable solutions for further improving Vietnam’s business environment.

Businesses expect a stronger legal reform to attract investment

VBF 2013 will also examine the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement on Vietnam’s short-term growth.

Vietnam is joining TPP negotiations with 11 other countries, namely Brunei, Canada, Chile, the United States, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Peru, and Singapore. Parties expect to conclude negotiations and sign the trade pact in 2014.

Vu Tien Loc, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said there are two long-term positive signs for the economy: the enforcement of the government’s economic restructuring plan, and Vietnam’s increased negotiations of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.

Adhering to these agreements will pressure Vietnam to accelerate institutional reform and improve the competitive capacity of its economy, bolstering medium- and long-term business confidence, said Loc.

Businesses have high hopes for the government’s measures to stabilise the macroeconomy, rein in inflation, lower bank interest rates, and keep the foreign currency market under control, helping to ease business difficulties.

However, businesses still face policy and law barriers, affecting their production. A Ministry of Planning and Investment report shows nearly 55,000 businesses have gone bankrupt or suspended operations over the past 11 months, a year-on-year rise of 8.4%.

These disadvantages affect businesses’ investment plans in 2014 and the restoration of their trust in Vietnam – one of the attractive investment destinations in the region.

The Vietnam Business Forum is a regular and close dialogue mechanism between the government of Vietnam and domestic and foreign business communities, aiming to improve necessary business conditions to develop the private sector and facilitate the investment environment.

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