The Hanoitimes - With the launch of the trade information portal on July 26, the Government of Vietnam strives to lower trade costs, decrease the time required to do business and easing border cooperation when moving goods and services in and out the country.
Moreover, the portal is seen as part of the effort to facilitate trade and investment. The main objective of the Vietnam Trade Information Portal is to make it easier for traders and investors to comply with regulatory requirements associated with the import and export of goods. The portal is a major reform, which helps Vietnam comply with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Access to information and understanding of the required regulatory procedures to import and export is a major barrier to the private sector, especially for smaller firms and new market entrants (website address: http://www.vietnamtradeportal.gov.vn).
The trade portal is a web-based database system, which makes all cross-border trade regulatory information available at a stroke of a key. The information includes all laws, prohibitions, restrictions, technical standards, the entire commodity classification and tariffs, all procedures for license and permit application and clearance, copies of all forms, and plain language instructions. This includes a total of 760 laws/decrees/circulars, 301 measures, 365 procedures, and 337 forms.
Interface of the portal.
The trade portal also enables traders to see, in response to a single query, all the obligations they need to comply with to import or export a specific good. It was developed in response to a request by the Government of Vietnam through the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC).
Trade growth has contributed significantly to the development of Vietnam. With this being said, Vietnam’s export-oriented manufacturing sector grew by 8.4 percent and 12.3 percent year on year during the first two quarters of 2017, and total exports are expected to grow by 14.6 percent in 2017. Benign inflation allowed authorities to maintain generally accommodative monetary policies. The State Bank of Vietnam, cut its key policy rate by 25 basis points in July 2017 in an effort to stabilize interest rates and boost economic growth.
Taking into consideration the result of first half of the year, if export growth rate in the last six months is maintained at 18.8%, the export of year of 2017 will hit 209.8 billion USD. However, this target is subject to various factors to be achieved in the last six months of the year. First of all, first quarter export only reached 44.64 billion USD, an increase of 15.1% (FDI businesses exported a value of 31.96 billion USD, an increase of 15%). The growth rate jumped to hit 53.08 billion USD, an increase of 22.1% in the second quarter, nearly doubling in the rate of the first quarter. In total, the first six months of 2017, Vietnam exported a total value of 97.72 billion USD, an increase of 18.8% in comparison to the same period of last year. The result has shown in export value of Vietnam has increased 21.4% in the first 9 months, at 289.14 billion USD.
The development of the Vietnam Trade Information Portal was supported by the World Bank Group’s Trade Facilitation Support Program, a global facility that helps countries align their trade practices with the WTO TFA, which entered into force in February 2017. The TFA spearheads a global effort to reduce trade costs, helping countries to connect to regional and global markets. This is particularly relevant for low-income countries who face costs that are on average three times higher than those of advanced economies.
The support was matched by technical assistance provided by the GDVC and many trade-related agencies across the Government of Vietnam who played a critical part in the development of the portal. The portal also provides a useful tool for legislators and policymakers to identify the complexity of current regulations and procedures when applied to commodities and to suggest areas of modernization and simplification. The portal can then be used to monitor the process of simplification.
The Vietnam Trade Information Portal is part of the Bank Group’s efforts to help support sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in Vietnam. It is an important first step towards establishing a more streamlined and simpler regulatory framework for trade.