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Donors agree $14.8m for reforms   2010-10-30 - VNS

Domestic and foreign donors signed an agreement yesterday, committing US$14.8 million for business registration reforms throughout Viet Nam.

The second and third phases of the project to provide technical assistance for business registration will receive $6.6 million from the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs, $4.5 million from the Norwegian Agency for Development, $2.2 million from the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Department (MPI), and $1.5 million from the United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO).

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Van Trung said reforms would simplify pre-registration and registration to reduce the time and cost of completing all business, tax, statistics and seal procedures.

Swiss Ambassador Jean Hubert Lebet spoke highly of Viet Nam's efforts to advance the country's social and economic development over the last decade.

Improvements in the business sector, which helped mobilise domestic and foreign investment, had played a big role in their success, the ambassador said.

He also said he hoped that Swiss support for the project would further help the private sector, improve the transparency of the business climate, facilitate the implementation of the Enterprise Law, and promote better corporate governance.

The project, which started in November 2008, completed its first phase in September. It has assisted MPI, the General Department of Taxation, and provincial authorities in the establishment of a single-point, computerised registration service for business, tax, statistics, and public security registration for enterprises in 63 cities and provinces.

As of October, 400,000 enterprises from 58 provinces had registered with the National Business Registration System (NBRS).

The total number of enterprises in the NBRS database was expected to reach nearly 550,000 by the middle of next month once Ha Noi and the other four final localities begin full operations through the database.

The next two phases aimed to set up a web-based information distribution system for enterprises, authorities, and the general public, said the UNIDO Representative Nilgun Tas.

The system would enable full online registration including e-payments and the filing of audited annual financial statements of public enterprises as required by the Enterprise Law, she said.

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