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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs       14  February 2011

Transparency vital for Vietnamese investment

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Improving the transparency of the business environment at provincial levels was an important factor in attracting urgently needed investment, the vice chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, (VCCI) Hoang Van Dung announced at a press conference this week. Dung said transparency created trust among investors and reduced fees for searching for information.

Dau Anh Tuan, deputy head of VCCI's Legislation Department, said businesses with high transparency achieved higher profits, proving the sustainability of a transparent business environment.

He said several provinces had been active in improving their business environment. Northern Bac Ninh Province had built a handbook to guide investors about investment and building procedures. Southern Dong Nai Province set up a website in five languages to provide information to investors.

Some provinces established a "one-door" mechanism for granting investment certification. Ho Dai Dung, deputy director of northern Phu Tho Province's Planning and Investment Department, said it worked together with industrial zone management boards to supply businesses with investment information.

Dung said the province also clearly stipulated regulations for investors and investment regions. The department held monthly meetings with businesses to resolve any difficulties and had merged its Commercial and Investment Promotion Centre with its Tourism Centre to provide a one-stop shop for businesses.

Vice chairman of Thai Binh Province's People Committee, Pham Van Ca, said the province held meetings with enterprises and carried out checks to resolve any difficulties.

He added the province supplied information on improving transparency. All issues were submitted to provincial leaders within three days through the "one-door" mechanism. Replies took only a week.

Hoang Ngoc Giao, deputy head of the Institute for Legal and Development Research, said transparency in the business environment was complicated because it related to several issues of planning, lands and natural resources.

Giao said a model to enhance transparency was being completed. He said it would feature the specific characteristics of every locality.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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