The Party, State and People Advocate and Demonstrate Confidence in Vietnamese Entrepreneurs

10:26:56 AM | 10/19/2023

“The Party, the State and the People have always supported and trusted Vietnamese entrepreneurs. The Government and the Prime Minister are committed to working together, sharing, encouraging and listening to the feedback from trade associations and business community to build and develop a strong, cohesive business community and entrepreneurial force with the spirit of ‘never giving up, never backing down and never breaking promises but delivering on what is said, fulfilling what is pledged and excelling at what is done.”

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Deputy Prime Ministers Le Minh Khai and Tran Luu Quang attend the meeting with Vietnamese entrepreneurs 

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh delivered this statement at a meeting with Vietnamese entrepreneurs on their traditional day, October 13. The meeting was held at the Government headquarters and live-streamed to the headquarters of Provincial/Municipal People’s Committees.

A key driver of economic growth

Enterprises are the key force in economic development, and entrepreneurs are the core force that leads, manages and runs enterprises in the country. Vietnamese entrepreneurs have grown rapidly in quantity, governance capacity, knowledge, business skills and expertise, and have also advanced their capacity and capability of international integration. Many entrepreneurs and enterprises with regional and world-class brand names are playing an important role in sectoral and local development and leading small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their peers to further development. Some of the typical names are THACO Group, Vingroup, Viettel, FPT, VNPT, Vietcombank, BIDV, BRG, TH Group, Geleximco, Phu Thai Group, PNJ, Doji, Vinamilk, Loc Troi, Thai Binh Shoes (TBS) and Kinh Bac City Development Shareholding Corporation.

At the meeting, VCCI President Pham Tan Cong reported the main opinions and aspirations of enterprises and entrepreneurs. From their perspective, businesspeople see historic opportunities for Vietnam’s development and hope that the Party and the Government will implement strong and timely solutions to revive the entrepreneurial spirit among businesspeople and in society.

Regarding business development, what businesses want and what is important to propose to do right now is to enable businesses to access credit more conveniently and easily and, at the same time, restore and recover the real estate market, he said. Policies on exemption and delayed payment of taxes, fees and other financial obligations should be extended for a longer time, enough for business recovery.

On medium- and long-term solutions, businesses that want restructuring policies and pursue sustainable development need to pay attention to planning and construction right now.

Regarding policy and business environment, according to VCCI President Cong, there is a need for further improving the business environment, enhancing national competitiveness and local competitiveness, with a focus on reforming administrative procedures and business conditions and reducing costs for businesses. Trade associations want to have their roles elevated to provide better support for businesses and act as effective bridges between the Party and State with the business community; and enhance their roles in policymaking and criticism.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh delivers a keynote speech at the event

Eight groups of focused tasks

At the conference, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh expressed the warmest greetings, deepest gratitude and best wishes of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to the entrepreneurs and enterprises on the occasion of the Vietnam Entrepreneurs’ Day, October 13.

He stated that the National Assembly and the Government have enacted various measures to foster entrepreneurship and business development; expedite the realization of three strategic breakthroughs (institutions, infrastructure and human resources), preserve a peaceful and stable environment, establish an open and fair business climate, and lower costs for businesses. The ultimate goal is to achieve “smooth infrastructure, open policies and smart governance.”

With the correct perspectives and directions for innovation, construction and development of the country and the entrepreneurial force, “… Our country has never enjoyed such fortune, potential, position and prestige on the international stage as today” as affirmed by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and reiterated in the Document of the 13th National Party Congress.

After more than 36 years of Doi Moi (renovation), in 2022, Vietnam’s GDP reached US$409 billion, a surge of about 51 times from 1986 (about US$8 billion). From 1986 to 2022, Vietnam ranked among the Top 5 fastest-growing economies in the world.

At present, Vietnam has nearly 900,000 active businesses, approximately 14,400 cooperatives and over 5 million business households. The business sector accounts for more than 60% of the GDP and employs about 30% of the total workforce.

He stated that the Government would implement Resolution 41 of the Politburo effectively to foster and leverage the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in the new era, with a focus on eight sets of measures and solutions:

First, maintaining macroeconomic stability, curbing inflation, stimulating growth and securing major economic balances.

Second, improving the investment and business environment that is fair, open, equitable and transparent; eliminating unnecessary obstacles and regulations on business conditions, boosting national competitiveness, accelerating administrative procedure reform, developing digital economy, digital government, digital society and digital citizens.

Third, removing bottlenecks that impede resource mobilization, production and business; facilitating and easing access to credit for people and businesses; allocating credit to priority areas and growth drivers.

Fourth, developing safe, healthy and transparent markets such as capital, real estate, and labor markets, especially high-quality labor markets, to accommodate economic restructuring and transition towards quality-based, performance-based and innovation-based development.

Fifth, the Government urges ministries, branches and localities to assess the current challenges faced by businesses and devise plans to address and resolve them promptly and effectively.

Sixth, expediting public investment disbursement to make public investment a key driver for economic growth, not only in the short term, but also in the medium and long terms.

Seventh, enforcing the Law on SME Support effectively and substantially, applying science and technology vigorously and building a startup and innovation ecosystem; enhancing labor supply and demand balances, training and developing human resources, especially high-quality human resources, advancing national digital transformation.

Eighth, strengthening the effective policy enforcement to support businesses, especially those that facilitate early recovery and adopt new business models powered by digital transformation trends, energy conversion, green transition, inclusive and circular business models.

VCCI President Pham Tan Cong addresses the conference with the Government cabinet, stating that entrepreneurs see unprecedented growth potential for Vietnam’s development, and hope that the Party and the Government will revive the entrepreneurial spirit and foster social innovation with effective and prompt solutions

Businesses need to further promote initiative, creativity, and strengthen connections

Prime Minister Chinh emphasized the need for enterprises and entrepreneurs to enhance their competitiveness and achieve regional and international standards by fostering initiative, dynamism, creativity, and cooperation among themselves. He also urged them to elevate the position of Vietnamese businesses through synergy.

He stressed the importance of developing the Party in enterprises; improving the human resources’ capacity, quality, and virtues; strengthening the leadership, management, and corporate governance; cultivating the corporate culture and talent development; reforming and restructuring the production and business models towards green, digital, and circular economy; building and enhancing the brand names; and expanding the market research, market diversification, product diversification, and supply chain diversification.

He also reminded them to comply with the law, maintain the business culture, protect the employees’ rights, and show social responsibility.

He asked the business associations to play an effective role in supporting businesses and providing consultation and review of legal documents related to business operations. He also encouraged them to act as bridges and voices of the business community to create a united and strong business force for a strong and prosperous Vietnam.

 He noted that the Vietnamese business community has always shown resilience, perseverance, courage, adaptability, and innovation in the face of challenges. He expressed his confidence that they will continue to support and cooperate with the Party, the State, the Government, and the Prime Minister in their administration to seize new opportunities and enhance their internal capacity, contributing to building a strong and prosperous Vietnam with happy and affluent people.

Mr. Nguyen Chi Dung

Minister of Planning and Investment

Vietnam has some outstanding advantages in terms of macroeconomic stability, improved business investment climate and reinforced confidence of domestic and international investors, according to reputable international agencies and experts. However, the country also faces many potential risks and challenges, such as the uncertainty of economic growth and fiscal and monetary policies in major countries, the pressure on the output market and input costs of businesses, and the increasing use of trade defense measures by other countries. As an advisory to the Government, the Ministry of Planning and Investment proposes the following directions and solutions:

To quickly remove bottlenecks and legal barriers that hinder business and investment activities of enterprises. It is necessary to conduct institutional reforms, lift legal barriers and create a favorable business and investment environment as soon as possible. In particular, it is required to address the inadequacies that have been repeatedly reported by companies, such as regulations on fire prevention and specialized inspection. It is essential to amend laws to eliminate obstacles and bottlenecks and introduce simplified processes that can be implemented immediately.

To further support companies to reduce cost burdens, increase access to capital and state support resources; to urgently solve difficulties in VAT refund for businesses; to review and reduce unreasonable costs in business practices; to allocate credit capital for enterprises, especially for priority areas encouraged for development; to implement solutions to reduce costs, lower deposit interest rates, and ease lending interest rates in both VND and USD; to actively disburse approved credit packages to support businesses; to urgently issue regulations on controlled testing mechanism in the banking sector (Fintech).

To support businesses to access new markets, boost exports and promote domestic consumption; to actively assist the business community to take advantage of FTA commitments, especially in new-generation FTAs, to boost exports; to expand the scope of unilateral visa exemption policy in the near future; to deploy solutions to increase international flight routes to Vietnam.

To support workers, create jobs and ensure social security; to quickly and effectively implement support policies for trade union members and workers whose working hours are reduced and labor contracts are terminated by reduced orders as per Resolution 06/NQ-TLD.

To enforce policies and solutions to support companies in digital transformation and innovation, and improve institutions to encourage them to apply sustainable business models and new industries and develop digital economy, green economy, and circular economy.

Mr. Dao Ngoc Dung

Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs

At the 8th meeting of the Party Central Committee, businesses were involved in two out of three breakthrough stages in social policy. The first stage aimed to establish a flexible, modern, and integrated labor market. The second stage aimed to eradicate temporary and rundown houses for people in the next five years, as this is a basic requirement of the people under the Constitution. Moreover, the Government has committed to providing one million social housing units for workers. Stable workers are vital for a thriving enterprise.

We will also revise the Social Insurance Law and the Employment Law to offer the best conditions for businesses and workers to grow together. Various support policies for businesses and employees will be enacted.

Vietnam needs to leverage and foster its golden population period by creating a national policy framework that curbs population aging and enlarges the population size, especially the birth rate, to avoid future population aging and educate high-quality human resources. Along with digital and green transformations, human resources need to shift towards emphasizing high quality.

Concurrently, comprehensive reform of salary policy in the business sector will be carried out. The state will only interfere in the minimum wage as a reference for businesses and workers to negotiate.

Mr. Dao Minh Tu

Deputy Governor of the State Bank

Thanks to the effective implementation and efforts of the State Bank of Vietnam and the banking industry, outstanding credit debt across the economy increased by nearly 7% by September 29, 2023 (compared to 11.05% in the same period in 2022). The positive growth rate reached more than 1% in September and the first days of October. The total outstanding debt of the whole economy is about VND13 quadrillion. Since the beginning of the year, an additional supply of nearly VND 600 trillion has been provided to businesses to support the troubled bond market.

In the coming time, the State Bank will continue to manage monetary policy to ensure stability. The exchange rate tool will ensure stability, while interest rates will be managed in a stable and gradually decreasing direction, in line with inflation developments and economic growth. This will prevent speculation from increasing the exchange rate, prices, use of resources, and ensure consistent exchange rate management. Second, to continue operating interest rates in a gradually decreasing direction, the State Bank instructs commercial banks to save costs and use all resources to share difficulties in reducing interest rates for businesses. Third is to remove procedural conditions for accessing credit. However, this problem has two sides because failing to ensure minimum guarantees in credit conditions can lead to unsafe and unhealthy credit institutions and national financial security. Therefore, the State Bank’s view is to ensure capital safety but also create favorable conditions for credit growth.

Mr. Cao Anh Tuan

Deputy Minister of Finance

To support taxes, fees, charges, and land rent, various solutions with high value and broad scope have been executed and are ongoing. These solutions have gained the consent, backing, and recognition of the business community and the public, helping them cope with challenges and maintain production and business activities. This has led to positive outcomes for socio-economic development. In the coming time, the Ministry of Finance will keep a close eye on the actual situation and devise solutions for 2024 following the direction of the Standing Government and the effective execution of key tasks that have been issued. These solutions include continuing to evaluate the reduction of the environmental protection tax rate for 2023, reviewing and reporting to the Government on the possibility of lowering the value-added tax rate for 2023, cutting import and export tax rates, supporting domestic production and business, decreasing some fees and charges, and promoting the use of online public services.

The Ministry of Finance will also pursue reforms in other areas such as enhancing institutions, increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the apparatus, and improving administrative procedures in a more comprehensive and effective way. It will foster healthy financial sectors, especially in tax and customs, to ease and lower costs for businesses and people. This will boost the business environment and contribute to national competitiveness.

Mr. Nguyen Van Than

Chairman of Vietnam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises

October 13 this year was the most exciting day for me, and I have three reasons for that. First, as General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said, our country’s stature in the world and Vietnam’s potential and international position have never been as high as they are today. Second, Resolution 41 of the Politburo issued on October 10, 2023 recognizes the contribution of the entrepreneur force to the national construction and development. Third, in the context of global economic integration, we have faced strong impacts from the world economy. However, thanks to the efforts of the Government leaders, especially the Prime Minister, and the solid support of the business community of all sizes, the country’s GDP grew by 4.24%. This is a remarkable achievement. Other indicators also improved. The public investment disbursement increased by VND110 trillion from the previous year, significantly boosting GDP growth and unlocking resources. The Prime Minister and cabinet officials have also focused on resolving 12 major projects that were previously wasteful and inefficient. This is also a great joy because these projects have finally been freed from their deadlock.

I also have two small suggestions. The first one is about the night economy. We have piloted it in two cities and it is related to tourism. We should not be afraid of the negative consequences of the night economy because it will increase GDP and also address import-export issues.

The second one is about equality and transparency between businesses and authorities. For example, a company will be fined if it pays VAT late, but authorities will not be fined if they refund VAT late. This is unfair and unreasonable. Both sides should be accountable for their actions, not only the business side. Authorities should also be penalized for their delays.

Mr. Tran Ba Duong

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Truong Hai Group (Thaco)

As a businessman with over 40 years of experience in the market, I always appreciate the Party and the State for their support for the entrepreneurial force. I am very impressed by Resolution 41 of the Politburo on building and enhancing the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in the new era.

The entrepreneur force is very enthusiastic as the new resolution confirms the role and position of the entrepreneur force and designates it as one of the key forces to advance the cause of industrialization and modernization of the country. The entrepreneur force not only works to build and develop a self-reliant and autonomous economy, but also contributes to ensuring national defense and security. Moreover, it also plays a vital role in economic diplomacy and international integration.

The resolution also stipulates that entrepreneurs in the new era must take business ethics and business culture as the core of their actions, uphold the rule of law, and demonstrate patriotism, nationalism, and dedication.

As a businessman who is leading and running a giant multi-industry corporation in the country, I commit to continuing to study and implement the spirit of the resolution into my entrepreneurial life and into the role and position of my companies for sustainable development. I will carry out specific tasks of the Resolution and strive to expand my leadership in some key areas, aiming for a significant position in the global value chain, industrial and agricultural value chains based on green economic models and circular economy.

The resolution also asserts that promoting the role of entrepreneurs, along with developing entrepreneurs and enterprises, is the responsibility of the whole political system. I acknowledge that it is also the responsibility of each entrepreneur and each business. We compete and cooperate with each other in an integrated environment to enhance our own business capacity and to build a strong business community in the context of international competition.

Mr. Truong Gia Binh

Chairman of the Board of Directors of FPT Corporation

On this occasion, as a businessman, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Party, the Government, the National Assembly, and the central and local agencies for creating a peaceful life for us in the past 50 years and helping us live in a harmonious society. Vietnam has signed 16 new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs) and plans to sign three more FTAs. This is a great opportunity for companies to do business with other countries in a free and creative environment that fosters their capabilities. This is a heartfelt thank-you from the business community and millions of workers to the authorities at all levels.

If the government values enterprises, it should value them more. If it cares for them, it should care for them more. If it helps them overcome difficulties, it should help them more. If it reduces taxes and fees, it should reduce them more and longer. With that sentiment, Vietnamese businesses will be like a flock of Vietnamese birds that will soar in the sky and lead Vietnam to its desired position and status - a strong and happy Vietnam.

Ms. Thai Huong

Chairwoman of TH Group's Strategy Council, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Women's Business Association

On this occasion, I would like to offer some recommendations to the Government. We hope that some laws will be enacted soon, such as the revised Land Law, Water Resources Law and Housing Law, for businesses in general and women entrepreneurs in particular to follow and operate professionally and to bring common benefits to the community towards sustainable development. Because community health is the foundation of the nation’s strength, the Government needs to instruct and delegate responsibility to ministries, agencies and branches, including the Ministry of Health, to establish a basic standard for the Nutrition Law, especially the Law on Nutrition at School, and submit it to the National Assembly. And finally, we suggest that the Party, the State and the Government adopt flexible policies and mechanisms to support and promote the role of Vietnamese women entrepreneurs as the country’s treasure. Please provide them with a rose garden at the end of their journey so that they can overcome every obstacle and challenge on their way to success.

Mr. Pham Dinh Doan

Chairman of Phu Thai Group

In the past, Vietnam’s large private economic model was not fully developed. However, the country now faces great opportunities that bring along many significant bilateral cooperation programs. Vietnam has entered into many free trade agreements and has a more diverse range of strategic partners. Therefore, this is an opportune time for the Government to consider establishing state-owned and private corporations. All public or private corporations have the responsibility to execute and achieve the national strategy. Of course, both state and private corporations must be subject to state oversight to ensure fair development.

Vietnamese businesspeople and citizens are no less courageous than any other nation in the world. They have not only the ambition to enrich themselves but also the aspiration to make the country wealthy and thriving, creating economic power and resources for the nation. Leading businesses will shape Vietnam’s position in the global arena. A robust, sustainable business community with global competitiveness and visionary Vietnamese entrepreneurs with strong national pride are essential prerequisites for Vietnam to become an independent, self-reliant, prosperous country.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Nga

Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of BRG Group, Vice Chair of the Vietnam Private Entrepreneurs’ Association

We express our gratitude to the Party for issuing Resolution 41, which confirms the role of entrepreneurs and expresses the view of not criminalizing economic relations. On behalf of the Vietnam Private Entrepreneurs’ Association and the Vietnam Women Business Association, we extend our thanks to the Prime Minister for signing a realistic decision to reduce land rent by 30%. With guidance from the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Taxation, we can conveniently access this benefit.

Although the bond market and real estate market have been unstable and fluctuating lately, the Government has taken measures to address these issues for real estate businesses and the bond market. Without these measures, hundreds of businesses could face difficulties, and hundreds of thousands of people could be affected. We sincerely appreciate the Prime Minister and ministries for their efforts. On this occasion, we hope that the Government will always be our backup when we encounter challenges. We will recover and prosper. We will stand up and cooperate with the Government with our utmost efforts.

By Anh Mai, Vietnam Business Forum