Dung recently said that the Government’s business regulation reform programme in 2020-2025 was the largest and most comprehensive yet, demonstrating the Government’s determination to improve the business environment to drive development.

The recently-announced programme to implement Government Resolution No 68/NQ-CP dated May 12 aimed to remove and simplify at least 20 percent of business regulations and cut at least a fifth of compliance costs.

The programme also focused on preventing the new issuance of unnecessary, unreasonable and illegal regulations and those causing more difficulties for businesses, while removing inconsistencies and overlaps in business regulations.

Dung said the Government attached special attention to institutional reform and building e-Government to create favourable conditions for businesses and citizens.

In 2007-2010, Vietnam cut or simplified 4,818 out of 5,421 administrative procedures, which helped save nearly VND30 trillion  (US$1.3 billion ) per year, which was an impressive figure, he said.

More than 3,890 out of 6,191 business prerequisites and 6,776 out of 9,926 product categories subject to customs checks were removed and simplified in 2016-20, saving 18 million working days per year, equivalent to VND6.3 trillion.

Dung, however, noted that reforms remained slow and some deregulation did not aid firms but brought more difficulties.

He stressed that there was a lot of room for growth by carrying out efficient reforms.

According to the Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc, the Government’s Resolution No 68 was regarded as the third wave of reforms out in the past five years.

The first wave started in 2016 with thousands of sub-licences eliminated. The second wave was removing and simplifying hald of business prerequisites and product lines for customs checks.

In the third wave of reforms, inconsistencies and overlaps in business regulations were expected to be wiped out, Loc said.

The VCCI’s findings showed that the percentage of firms which must apply for licences for their business operation had reduced from 58 percent to 48 percent. Loc said that this was not just a matter of money or time but also the confidence of business.

Resolution 68 would trigger more comprehensive reforms to tackle existing problems in the business legal system and hasten reforms of management agencies at all levels, he said, stressing that listening to businesses were essential.

President of the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Nguyen Van Than also said that drastic measures must be taken to achieve deregulation goals set in Resolution 68.

According to Dung, to implement the reform programme effectively, the focus would be placed on accelerating the electronic handling of administrative procedures, especially with the implementation of a digitalisation plan for handling administrative procedures.

The transition from paper-based management to digital-based would be pushed, aiming to create the best conditions for businesses and to cut costs.

Businesses and citizens would play a role in supervising and evaluating the reform process, Dung said.