Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has signed a decree to remove 675 out of the 1,216 business and investment conditions under the management of the Ministry of Industry and Trade as the ministry proposed to improve the legal system as well as the investment and business environment.

Decree No.08/2018/ND-CP, signed by the prime minister on Monday, January 15, 2018, amended a number of regulations related to business and investment conditions, .

The number of 675, which is the highest-ever recorded in MoIT’s history, has been announced after a two-week review of business conditions in the fields and sectors managed by the ministry. This accounts for 55.5 per cent of the total business conditions that were applicable. The decision will take effect immediately.

The change will cover eight sectors, including petrol and gas, cigarettes, electricity, commercial franchising, e-commerce, chemicals, industrial explosives, and food.

PM Phuc lauded MoIT’s efforts because the streamlining of business conditions will be the core of the ministry’s administrative reforms in the coming time, aiming to improve the legal system as well as the investment and business environment.

Earlier in October 2016, MoIT issued Decision 4846, axing 15 administrative procedures and simplifying 108 others. In September of the same year, the ministry enacted Decision 3648 promulgating a list of import goods under state management to be subject to pre-clearance inspection in terms of quality, conformity to technical regulations, and food safety.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh affirmed that in the coming time, MoIT will continue listening to the opinions of the business cummunity in order to promptly handle arising issues.

MoIT will further shorten the list of goods subject to specialised inspection, both in pre-clearance and post-clearance inspections. As for commodity items which must undergo inspection, it will enhance the post-clearance inspection mechanism and risk management principles.

The ministry will also continue abolishing and simplifying administrative procedures and business conditions under its management, formulating and improving the system of national standards and technical regulations, and mobilising social resources for conformity assessment.

The year 2017 has broken multiple economic records, especial in the industrial and trade sector, as Vietnam’s industrial production index grew by 9.4 per cent in 2017, well above the growth of 7.4 per cent in the previous year, while export turnover reached $213.77 billion , up 21.1 per cent on-year—the highest-ever increase. The equitisation process achieved important results through the success of the divestments from Vinamilk and Sabeco.

Also at the meeting reviewing MoIT’s activities in 2017 and plans for 2018, the prime minster asked MoIT to find new added value for Vietnamese products through the processing industry.

He asked a series of questions related to MoIT’s major tasks of luring in more private sector investment for industry and trade, developing e-commerce and industry, services, and technology to serve agriculture and rural areas.

Industry and trade sector highlights for 2017

1. The government issued Decree No.98/2017/ND-CP stipulating functions, tasks, rights, and the organisational structure of MoIT.

2. MoIT has removed and simplified 123 administrative procedures. As many as 675 business and investment conditions were cut down, 63 more than expected, equivalent to 55.5 per cent of the total conditions. After the reduction, 541 conditions remain.

3. The ministry has approved a plan to tackle ineffective and sluggish projects and businesses under its control.

4. Total export-import turnover set a record of $425 billion, including $211.77 billion from exports, up 21.1 per cent against the previous year. The trade surplus reached $2.67 billion, the highest figure ever recorded. A total of 29 export items joined the $1 billion export club.

5. The auction of 54 per cent of Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation succeeded, gaining nearly VND110 trillion (around $5 billion) in proceeds.

6. The Law on Foreign Trade Management was approved by the National Assembly with 88 per cent of deputies voting in favour. The law consists of eight chapters with 113 articles, stipulating and applying measures on foreign trade management and the development of foreign trade activities.

7. The industry and trade sector completed the development goals set by the National Assembly and the government.

8. The 23rd APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (APEC MRT 23) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Ministerial Meeting were successfully organised.

9. A number of automobile manufacturing and assembly projects kicked-off, including the ground-breaking ceremonies of the THACO-Mazda automobile manufacturing plant with designed capacity of 100,000 cars per year and Vingroup’s electric automobile and motorbike manufacturing complex named Vinfast, representing a total investment capital of VND35 trillion ($1.5 billion), marking the group’s first step to become Southeast Asia’s “Made in Vietnam” automobile brand.

10. Since January 1, 2018, RON 92 petrol has been fully replaced with E5 bio-fuel.

Vietnam Investment Review