On December 5, 2014 , the Vietnam Development Partnership Forum 2014 took place in Hanoi . This year’s forum was co-chaired by Mr. Bui Quang Vinh, Minister of Planning and Investment and Ms. Victoria Kwakwa, Director of World Bank in Vietnam. The Forum was also attended by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. The main theme of this year’s forum focused on institutional reform and economic development to promote the private sector . Representing non-governmental organizations in Vietnam, Mr. Le Quang Binh, Director of iSEE delievered a speech at a conference in the session of economic institutional reforms.
Below is the full text of the speech.
Distinguished Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung,
Chairs and delegates,
We, Vietnamese NGOs, support the reform efforts of the Government aiming at enhancing market institutions, fair competition and reducing administrative procedures as well as risks that enterprises are exposed to. The reform would improve the allocation efficiency of our country’s scarce resources, and contribute to boost growth, improve transparency, reduce corruption and waste of resource.
We all know that poor management would lead to over-use of natural resources, environmental pollution and the formation of cancer villages, and poverty black holes. Therefore, we would like to call on the Government, in addition to the economic institutional reform, to make bold steps to involve NGOs and civil societies organizations in rectifying market failures. More specifically, we would like to make the following 3 proposals to the Government:
First, there are currently about 1,000 NGOs involved in poverty reduction, environmental protection, gender-based violence prevention, HIV prevention and promotion of minorities’ rights. Unfortunately, NGOs are facing challenges in getting project approval. The approval process of a small charity project takes months because it is subject to endorsement of many line and related agencies as well as local authorities. This is a waste of time and resources for both implementing NGOs and related state agencies. We urge the Government to support MPI’s review of the implementation of Decree 93/2009/NĐ-CP on the regulations on the management and use of foreign non-governmental assistance. It would be more convenient if projects can be registered and audited reports are accepted instead of getting approval for each individual projects. We hope that this proposal is treated the same way as an administrative reform measure to liberalize business activities of enterprises.
Second, we are pleased that the National assembly adopted the Resolution of the law making program 2015 that included the Law on associations and the Law on access to information. These two laws will form the important legal basis to realize the freedom to association and the freedom to information of citizens as contained in Article 25 of the Constitution. The Law on associations and the Law on access to information will help enterprises that want to form associations and to obtain information so that their interest can be better protected in an international arena that is becoming more competitive and litigious. More importantly, the two laws will enable an environment where citizens can share innovations, knowledge, information and solutions to problems of their communities, especially with regards to environment, poverty, cultural and social oversight issues. Therefore, we would like to urge the Government to speed up the drafting and consultation process of these two laws to submit to national assemble for debate in October 2015 as planned.
Finally, NGOs are providing divers services such as training, agriculture extension, micro finance, small infrastructure projects including quality water supply, clinics, schools to poor and remote communities. Therefore, we would like to urge the Government to draft an implementation decree of the Law on Public Investment to provide a level playing field and to involve NGOs and associations in the provision of public services. In addition, it is important to adopt regulations on tax exemption for charity contributions for philanthropy, development and human rights protection. This is a precondition for a sustainable development of civil societies organizations in Vietnam building on internal resources considering that international donors are leaving.
Wishing the Prime Minister and all delegates best health.
Thank you for your attention!