Vietnam is determined to make institutional reforms in order to integrate into global trade, with one of its goals cutting red tape by 50 percent, according to the president of a business community representative.
Speaking at a dialogue in Ho Chi Minh City on December 7, Dr. Vu Tien Loc, president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), had some inspirational words on Vietnam’s efforts to reach global institutional standards.
VCCI is a nonprofit that represents the business community, employers and business associations across all economic sectors in Vietnam.
“Determination in institutional reform toward the highest standards of global trade is the driving force for Vietnam’s reforming efforts,” Dr. Loc said.
“We have done a lot of things regarding this direction. From beginning of this year, businesses have appreciated some aspects of the government’s efforts.”
Among them is a bid to firmly cut 50 percent of business and administrative procedures, the president said, adding that it is very strong resolve and a rarity that countries can do the cut in one year.
Vietnam is seeking to officially sign the European Union – Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA) by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, Hanoi is also a member of another huge pact, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which includes 11 countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – whose combined economy represents 13.4 percent of global GDP, approximately US$13.5 trillion.
It will come into force on December 30.
Both EVFTA and CPTPP require law amendments which Vietnam is given deadlines to complete.
As the Southeast Asian country is bracing for legislative challenges ahead of joining international free trade agreements, Hanoi has a lot of work to do.
But according to Dr. Loc, all the obstacles seem to be overcome with Vietnam’s willingness.
Vietnam is focusing on opening up integration and institutional reforms, he underlined.
“Even being the economy with the lowest development level in CPTPP and compared to the European Union members, Vietnam still accepts the highest commitments,” the president said.
“We are heading for being one of the four economies with the highest competition and institutional quality in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).”
Dr. Vu claimed that Vietnam is moving toward the highest institutional standards of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
“And not only in ASEAN, Prime Minister [Nguyen Xuan Phuc] has emphasized that, in line with the resolution of the Vietnamese government, Vietnam is moving toward meeting the OECD standards, those of the United States, of Europe, and of Japan. We are ready to move toward the highest institutional standards of market economies,” he added.
On Vietnam’s future orientation, Dr. Loc said that the Southeast Asian country is promoting sustainable development, heading for sustainable development, and is in a new phase of investment in a high-tech, high value-added, standards-driven economy.
The VCCI president believes that investment and technology imports from the United States, among others, will be one of Vietnam’s main objectives in import and investment strategies.
“President Donald Trump is concerned about the trade deficit between the U.S. and Vietnam, then I would tell him one thing that please help Vietnamese businesses be stronger, help the Vietnamese economy be stronger, because when we have more money, we can import more goods from the U.S… That is also the logic of strengthening trade relations,” he concluded.