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Viet Nam among top 12 reformers in the business world

(VNA) - Viet Nam has been listed among the top 12 reformers in the world in 2004, according to Doing Business in 2006, an annual report released worldwide by the World Bank (WB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on September 14.

This demonstrates Viet Nam's great strides in carrying out reforms. The country was placed in the list of the 50 top reformers in 2003.

The achievement was attributed largely to the country's legal reforms covering business licensing, asset registration, protection of investors, contract enforcement and business bankruptcy.

This is the third consecutive year that Viet Nam has been listed in the Doing Business report conducted jointly by the WB and IFC in more than 150 countries around the world.

Doing Business in 2006 updates last year's reports on seven sets of indicators: starting a business, hiring and firing workers, enforcing contracts, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, and closing a business. This years' report adds three more new indicators: dealing with business licenses, trading across borders, and paying taxes.

According to Martin Rama, Chief Economist of the WB in Viet Nam, the country needs to continue pushing reforms to create a favourable business environment for investors because it is still only ranked 99th among 155 countries surveyed in terms of business activities.

Caralee Mcliesh, a senior economist involved in the Doing Business in 2006 project, said that in order to improve its ranking, Viet Nam should establish a concentrated, transparent and simplified tax collection system to streamline procedures for businessmen. At present, investors in Viet Nam spend an average 1,000 hours a year to complete required tax procedures.

In addition, Viet Nam should cut the necessary duration to start-up a business from 50 days to 30 days like Thailand and Malaysia have done, the WB official said.

Pham Chi Lan, a member of the Government's Research Board, said Doing Business in 2006 helps Viet Nam have a deeper look at its business environment in comparison with other countries in the world, especially Southeast Asian countries.

Apart from Doing Business in 2006, the WB will release a report on Viet Nam's investment environment in 2006 and another report on Viet Nam's development in 2006 in the fourth quarter of this year.

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