Advocacy for a better Enabling Environment for Business Services in Viet Nam, GTZ 2004-5

    The GTZ SME Promotion Project conducted a study of the policy and legal environment for business services, between June 2002 and November 2003, in partnership with local and international partners. The local partners, together with GTZ, used the study as a catalyst to advocate for specific changes in laws and policies to improve the enabling environment for the growth of busniess service markets.

    For those coming here from the "What's New" page, the document on the right hand side summarizing GTZ experiences and the impact of their efforts, has been updated as of April, 2005.

    Summary of results
    The involvement of different stakeholders in the study resulted in greater awareness of the need for a more enabling environment for business service markets among policy making and advocacy institutions. This was reflected in the Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy, and in the Report on 3 Years of Implementing the Law on Enterprise. It also led to some specific proposals for policy changes:

    1) apparent inconsistencies in the laws on consulting services, making entry into the market more difficult
    2) unclear prohibitions for law firms, making it difficult for them to provide comprehensive legal services
    3) very high requirements for Intellectual Property service providers, contributing to a monopoly situation
    4) confusing requirements for vocational training schools, limiting the establishment of new providers

    All of these issues were addressed in a Directive by the Prime Minister issued in December 2003. GTZ and its partners will be following up on this Directive, and other initiatives by local stakeholders with similar proposals for change.

    Lesson Learned during the process:
    - Involving the agency which can provide direct inputs into the policy making process is critically important;
    - Strong ownership of local stakeholders and "change agents" through their participation in the implementation and selection of study subjects is key;
    - It is not necessary to finalize the study before carrying out policy advocacy activities. The law- and regulation-making bodies can use inputs immediately as long as the results prove good and reliable;
    - Raising the awareness of individuals who draft laws and regulations - through their participation in the study and paid consultancy contracts that support their participation in workshops - makes sense and can bring excellent results.
    - A public/ private/ chamber partnership in the study can be a model.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    B.E. Assessment
    »The Enabling Environment for Business Services in Viet Nam, GTZ 2003