Vietnam trade portal launched as one-stop shop for export-import regulations

The General Department of Customs has launched a trade portal as a single place for businesses to learn about Vietnam’s export-import regulations and procedures, the latest government effort to realise its commitments in facilitating trade.

The launching ceremony of the Vietnam Trade Portal
The launching ceremony of the Vietnam Trade Portal

The portal is expected to help improve the predictability and transparency of the trading laws and processes in Vietnam, giving both domestic and foreign investors quick access to the country’s trade rules.

Speaking at the launch on July 12, Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung said that with the operation of the portal, the business community and other stakeholders will be provided with a useful tool for finding information for their export and import activities.

He added that the Ministry of Finance is committed to working closely with other government agencies, the private sector and international organisations, to ensure efficient cooperation and the sharing of information for the sustainability of the portal.

The portal, built with the support of the World Bank, features existing trade regulations and procedures such as laws, administrative procedures, guidance notes, forms, licences, permits and applicable fees, in both Vietnamese and English.

Having a single portal containing all the necessary information is expected to save businesses time and costs, especially small and medium-sized enterprises involved in the import, export and transit sectors.

Sebastian Eckardt, the World Bank Acting Country Director for Vietnam, said the portal provides a one-stop access point where users can find information from more than a dozen ministries and agencies involved in trade procedures.

Other information provided through the portal includes an overview of Vietnam’s economy, the business start-up process, an export-import guide, special economic zones, regional and bilateral trade agreements to which Vietnam is a party, among others.

The portal is also expected to improve trade regulations themselves, as law-makers can now easily identify the complexity of current regulations and procedures and suggest areas for reform and simplification, as well as easily monitoring such processes.

Vietnam has climbed nine positions to 82 from 91 on the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 ranking and moved 15 spots up to 93 from 108 for improved border-trade indicators related to import-export operations.

The portal is a major step towards Vietnam’s goal of being one of the top four simplest places for doing business in ASEAN in 2020.