Businesses hope city to remove obstacles to accelerate development

The resolution of the 9th People’s Council sets a target of 8.4-8.7 percent growth rate this year, requiring all level city authorities and agencies to take stronger actions to remove obstacles for businesses to obtain the growth rate of 9.2-9.5 percent.

Garment and textile firms have operated stably and developed since early this year (Photo: SGGP)

Garment and textile firms have operated stably and developed since early this year (Photo: SGGP)

Mr. Pham Xuan Hong, director general of Saigon 3 Garment Company cum chairman of Vietnam Apparel and Textile Association, said that early 2017 when the US announced to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), businesses in the industry concerned about that. Still, they have operated stably and developed with the growth rate of over 10 percent as they have invested in equipment ad improved management.
From now until this yearend, there are good signals especially the number of orders will highly increase in August, September and October, positively impacting HCMC’s economic development, said Mr. Hong.
He proposed the city to speed up trade promotion activities for enterprises to access the world market. Tax and customs procedures have changed positively but the city still need to make more efforts to create a more transparent and advantageous environment for businesses.
In food field, deputy director of Saigon Food Company Le Thi Thanh Lam said that since early this year, the company posted a growth rate of 15 percent compared to the same period last year. It is expected to get better performance results after a new plant, food stores and groceries are built and put into operation in September.
If the company receives better assistances to access loans to buy new machines and broaden plants, interest payment burden will reduce. At present, it is paying high commercial interest rate.
She suggested the city to provide more information and take initiative in giving well performance companies low interest loans to develop production and trading.
Many food companies want to dialogue with HCMC’s government and Food Safety Management Board about relevant regulations to clear complicated quarantine and inspection procedures. Some standards have been set too strictly, even higher than Japanese standards, raising difficulties and negatively affecting businesses. They should be solved soon.
Standing deputy chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Lê Thanh Liêm said that the city had sped up business assistance activities in the first half of 2017, improved business and investment environment, implemented supply-demand as well as businesses-banks connectivity programs. About 4,000 businesses have got loans worth VND89.3 trillion. In addition, the city has launched a program to solve difficulties for businesses by providing short term loans nearing VND148.7 trillion in five priority fields.
In the fist half, HCMC saw 20,000 companies newly established and 8,900 others close down. The General Department of Statistics reported 61,000 firms newly established nationwide during the same period and 43,000 dissolved, halted operation or went bankruptcy. Especially over 92 percent of bankrupted companies are small and medium scaled with capital less than VND10 billion.
Economic Doctor Vo Thi Ngoc Thuy from HCMC University of Economics and Law said that these small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were weak and vulnerable amid severe competition, so HCMC should have efficient support policies.
Businesses themselves must invest in technology, attract and keep workers to exist and compete with larger ones. In fact they have met with difficulties in accessing capital and been forced to dissolve or go bankruptcy.
Therefore, the city need to act as guarantee for businesses to get bank loans and invest in hi technologies basing on their production and trading plans, development roadmap and payment abilities.
That will help expand business size and ensure the city’s growth rate target in short term. In long term, it will help businesses grow sustainably in line with the city’s economic structure change direction, she added.
Mr. Do Phuoc Tong, chairman of HCMC Mechanic Electricity Association, said that policies for manufacturing companies are very good, providing them with 100 percent interest rate. However, businesses must have good projects and collaterals to get loans.
In addition, workers in the mechanic industry usually quit to work for foreign invested firms while a mechanic worker must be trained from six months to one year to do the job. That has caused many companies not dare to expand manufacturing scale.
At present, the association has supported businesses to train human resources still they do need specific assistance training policies from the city’s government, he said.

By KIEU PHONG – Translated by Hai Mien

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