Seminar mulls ways to develop firms in HCM City

A view of HCM City. (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA)
– Improving the investment and business environment and administrative reforms
are among the measures needed to facilitate the development of businesses in Ho
Chi Minh City, a seminar heard on September 6.

Tran Thi Binh Minh, deputy
director of the city’s Department of Planning and Investment, said as of May 25
the city had 309,138 businesses, 89.25 percent of them very small, 4.3 percent
small, 5 percent medium-sized and 1.37 percent large.

In response to the
Government’s target of having 1 million businesses in the country by 2020, the city’s
authorities last year issued a resolution to help expand the number in the city
to 500,000, many of them large, she said.

The city has drafted
specific measures to create favourable conditions for businesses, including
simplifying administrative procedures, setting up hotlines to receive feedback
from companies and help them resolve their difficulties in a timely manner and
developing programmes to provide information about support policies, she said.

The city has also issued
decisions to promote start-ups, especially by youths and students, and help
household businesses develop into companies, she said.

Nguyen Dinh Tue, director
of the Centre for Supporting Small and Medium sized Enterprises, said while
administrative procedures have been streamlined somewhat, they are still slow
and do not meet businesses’ expectations.

He called for continued
reform and changing the approach towards it, otherwise “it will be hard to
change the situation,” he said.

Businesses face
difficulties, including the need to obtain a slew of sub-licences, inspections
by multiple agencies, and problems related to funding, land, human resources,
demand, and others, he said.

The number of businesses
not functioning is very large at around 41 percent, he said.

The city needs to hold
discussions with businesses to resolve their difficulties, he said.

To encourage household
businesses to become companies, the city needs to offer free support with
incorporation and other procedures, he said.

Several delegates said new
businesses should be offered legal, accounting and tax consultancy at
subsidised rates.

District leaders said
relevant agencies should have clear instructions on helping household
businesses expand into companies.

Nguyen Van Dung, head of
the municipal People Council’s economic and budget division, said comprehensive
measures are needed from the Government and local agencies to create a level
playing field for businesses.

Besides, businesses
themselves need to be more active in grasping opportunities and capitalising on
their resources and the Government’s support policies to develop, he said.

Many delegates said it is
also necessary to focus on quality rather than solely on quantity.

They also called for
building strong national trademarks to enhance competitiveness in the regional
and global markets.-VNA

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