On March 12, 2015, the Government has just issued the new Resolution 19/NQ-CP/2015 on key duties and solutions to improve business environment and national competitiveness in 2015 – 2016 (“Resolution 19”).

Resolution 19 provides several measures / objectives including decreasing administration procedure time (tax declaration, custom / port clearance, social insurance declaration, establishment of new companies, bankruptcy, etc.), removing some procedures, conditions such as legal / criminal records of foreign investors acquiring shares / equity in Vietnam, revising regulations / law to promote the business, procuring relevant State authorities to act and prepare action plans to do before 30 April 2015, report to the Government on a quarterly basis, etc.

The new Resolution also lays out strong commitments and positive changes to be made by Government bodies, which are expected to have the business environment targets of Vietnam reaching ASEAN-6 and ASEAN-4 averages in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

The new Resolution prioritizes the following:

1. In 2015, approaching and exceeding ASEAN-6 averages, notable targets are:

  • Lower tax payment period to 121.5 hours/year as maximum, develop and disclose the database on tax refund;
  • Rapidly decrease processing time for clearance of exports and imports of goods to 13 and 14 days respectively;
  • Processing time for business establishment procedures is 6 days as maximum;
  • Processing time for bankruptcy procedures is decreased from 60 months to no more than 30 months

2. In 2016, Vietnamese business environment index to approach ASEAN-4 averages on certain areas, notable areas are:

  • Business establishment and investor protection to be in Top 60 and 50 countries respectively, processing time for tax payment and compulsory insurance is 168 hours/year.
  • Simplify the procedure and reduce processing time for registration of property ownership and use rights to 14 days as maximum
  • Access to credit index reach Top 30 countries of the World Economic Forum.
  • Simplify the procedures and reduce processing time for commercial disputes to 200 days as maximum (400 days currently) and 24 months (60 months currently), especially for cases involving SMEs through court method.

Resolution 19 also calls for more active participation of business associations and professional bodies in policy review and valuations as well as closer coordination with Government bodies to support business development and resolve business issues.