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Updated: Sep 22, 2019

The National Assembly are discussing draft laws on trade and production including one on Assistance for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and a draft revision of the list of conditional business lines under the Law on Investment.

Small and medium-sized enterprises account for 97% of Vietnam’s businesses but only 30% of them have access to government support programs in place since 2001. Businesses said they need specific regulations on production facilities and their participation in public procurement.

Helping businesses take advantage of incentives

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong said the draft law on Assistance for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises is the ultimate legal framework helping increase the number of small and medium-sized enterprises and improve their quality. The draft law regulates support programs in accordance with national development orientations and goals, national resources, and local advantages. It also specifies the responsibility and role of the government, central and local agencies, social organizations, and the private sector in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises and managing the support network at all levels. Le Quan, a NA deputy of Hanoi, says: “The draft law covers almost every aspect relating to small and medium-sized enterprises, including technical and financial support.”

The draft law ensures fair treatment of small and medium-sized enterprises without guaranteeing subsidies for incapable and poorly-performing ones or those at risk of dissolution and bankruptcy. Some deputies suggest re-categorizing enterprises subject to the law.

Vu Tien Loc, a deputy for Thai Binh province, says: “The law should only regulate Vietnamese small and medium-sized enterprises, because that will not violate WTO regulations and other free trade agreements. We should focus on domestic enterprises because they have limited resources.”

Removing barriers in trade and production

Revising the list of conditional business lines will impact a large number of businesses. The current law specifies 267 conditional business lines in areas such as national defense, security, education, the environment. Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said 41 business lines should be removed from the list: “Eliminating some conditional business lines and unnecessary business rules will remove market barriers, reduce costs, and ensure the right to do business for people and organizations not prohibited by the Law on Investment.”

Tran Anh Tuan, a NA deputy for Ho Chi Minh City, commented on the prospered change: “I agree that we should revise and reduce the number of conditional business lines to help investors and enterprises. Conditional business lines should only cover some crucial areas including national defense and security, community health, and the environment.”


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