Mr. Hoang Quang Phong - Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI): Fiscal policy is an incentive for business recovery and development.
In the various policies aimed at economic recovery and development that have been implemented and are currently underway, support measures through fiscal tools play a crucial role as a cornerstone, providing timely and practical assistance to businesses in overcoming difficulties. This is the assessment of Mr. Hoang Quang Phong - Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) during an interview with a reporter from the Financial Times Vietnam.
The tax authorities have made significant breakthroughs in supporting people and businesses in overcoming difficulties in recent times. Photo: TL
Reporter: How do you assess the fiscal policies aimed at supporting individuals and businesses, stimulating economic recovery and development, which the government has issued recently?
Mr. Hoang Quang Phong: Fiscal policies, actively advised by the Ministry of Finance and approved by the government and the National Assembly, have had an impact on the business environment, providing strong support for businesses in overcoming difficulties.
These fiscal policies were issued promptly. Fiscal measures to support businesses, such as tax and fee reductions, as well as tax and land rent extensions, have been implemented since late 2022 and are continuing into 2023, effectively delivering their intended results.
We highly appreciate the Ministry of Finance's reform efforts.
For example, policies such as the 2% reduction in value-added tax (VAT) for certain items implemented in 2022 and 2023 have had a very positive impact on consumer recovery and businesses. Fiscal policies under the authority of the Ministry of Finance have been widely recognized and extensively implemented by businesses.
A broad survey of businesses conducted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) across 63 provinces and cities has shown that tax reduction, deferral, and exemption policies have been most widely recognized, benefited from the most, and received the highest praise by businesses.
Furthermore, the appropriate combination of fiscal and monetary policies has created a financial market to provide capital for businesses and focus on the economic growth targets for 2023.
However, businesses still face various challenges related to trade, product structure, as well as the geopolitical situation, global economic slowdown, especially in activities related to production and exports. Exporting businesses are experiencing a shrinking market. Large markets with high-paying capacity are restructuring, which is affecting the market share of Vietnamese exports.
Therefore, we believe that the government, ministries, and departments, including the Ministry of Finance, should continue to provide solutions to support businesses in the final months of 2023.
Reporter: To support businesses, the Ministry of Finance and tax authorities have been making strong efforts to remove obstacles and expedite VAT refunds. How do you assess these efforts?
Mr. Hoang Quang Phong: I highly appreciate the efforts made in administrative procedure reform in various areas that the business community is concerned about, including tax and customs activities by the Ministry of Finance. The tax authorities have made significant breakthroughs in supporting individuals and businesses in overcoming difficulties in recent times, especially in actively accelerating VAT refunds for businesses.
Regarding VAT refunds, I believe that the Ministry of Finance, in general, and the tax authorities, in particular, have directed relevant specialized units to research and assess the business activities, propose suitable solutions, and have successfully refunded a significant amount of VAT to the businesses that requested it. Timely VAT refunds have helped businesses maintain the capital flow for their production and operations.
VCCI is delighted that the Ministry of Finance announced that in 2022, tax authorities nationwide refunded over 150 trillion VND with 20,774 refund decisions. In the first 7 months of 2023, tax authorities nationwide have refunded 70.356 trillion VND to businesses with 9,800 refund decisions.
Reporter: VCCI and the Ministry of Finance have always cooperated with the goal of creating favorable conditions for business development. From now until the end of 2023, will there be any practical cooperation between the two agencies to facilitate businesses?
Mr. Hoang Quang Phong: VCCI and the Ministry of Finance, in general, and the Tax and Customs departments, in particular, have had a coordination mechanism for more than 15 years. VCCI and the Ministry of Finance regularly conduct dialogues with businesses on administrative procedure reforms related to taxes, customs, and relevant financial policies to resolve issues that arise in the course of business operations.
I highly appreciate the efforts of the Ministry of Finance, the tax authorities, and customs authorities in maintaining close and regular dialogue programs with businesses. However, businesses still encounter some challenges regarding VAT refunds and customs clearance procedures. We will promptly gather and exchange these challenges with the Ministry of Finance and relevant authorities to find solutions, ensuring that businesses can take advantage of opportunities for production, business, and exports and leverage the benefits of the multilateral and bilateral FTAs that Vietnam has signed.
Reporter: Thank you.
Creating a New Development Space for Businesses
In order to achieve the government and National Assembly's goals of increasing GDP growth and controlling inflation in 2023, Mr. Phan Đức Hiếu, a standing member of the National Assembly's Economic Committee, emphasized the need to support businesses by addressing their challenges. Currently, businesses are facing difficulties in terms of market conditions, finance, capital, and competitiveness. In this context, to alleviate these challenges for businesses, structural reforms are essential. These reforms go beyond simply streamlining administrative procedures; they also aim to reduce investment costs arising from legal regulations.
Representing the business community, Mr. Hoang Quang Phong, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), expressed VCCI's desire for government agencies at both central and local levels, as well as the government itself and various ministries and departments, to be even more proactive in improving the investment and business environment and quickly resolving issues faced by businesses.
To continue facilitating the recovery and development of businesses in the final months of 2023, VCCI has proposed several major solutions that need to be implemented.
Specifically, the first is to focus on enhancing the legal framework for investment and business. Second, continue implementing measures to reduce costs for businesses and enhance their access to resources from state support packages. Third, provide timely support to industries experiencing strong recovery, such as tourism and services, which are currently facing challenges due to a shortage of labor. Fourth, establish and refine the legal framework to facilitate the emergence and development of innovative business models. Fifth, strengthen programs aimed at improving the business environment and enhancing national competitiveness.
According to the Financial Times Vietnam.
By: Translator: LeAnh-Bizic
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