Decentralisation causes confusion

HCM CITY — The decentralisation process in Viet Nam, particularly in allowing provinces to issue investment licences, has created administrative vacuums and sowed confusion among both officials and enterprises, speakers said at a seminar in HCM City yesterday.

The Government’s management agencies should make policies governing business activities more transparent and widen enterprises’ access to information, they said.

Many enterprises ran into inconsistencies among functional offices when they faced a problem and needed guidance to resolve it.

Prof Nguyen Mai, president of the Viet Nam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises (VAFIE), said a major cause of the problem was the lack of uniformity in viewpoints among policy-making bodies at different levels.

“To serve their own localities’ benefits, many of provincial administrations broke regulations, and thus the unity of the legal system as whole was broken, creating unfair competition,” he said.

Nguyen Dinh Luong, former head of the Vietnamese mission negotiating the US –Viet Nam Bilateral Trade Agreement, added that along with the decentralisation, guidance from higher levels reduced and in many cases, was not clear.

This was made worse by lower level authorities instituting incomprehensible administrative procedures that spoiled good policies, he added.

A mechanism should be established for accessing information in a transparent manner from State agencies, said Tran Huu Huynh, head of the legal division at the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The seminar, titled “Viet Nam’s economy: opportunities and challenges after the global financial crisis” was jointly organised by the Vietnam Investment Review Group and VAFIE. — VNS

Source: Vietnam news. Date: September 10, 2010