USAID, Vietnam launch trade facilitation program

09:15 | 06/08/2019 Cooperation

(VEN) - The Vietnamese Ministry of Finance and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have launched a US$22.22 million trade facilitation program.

The five-year program aims to help the Vietnamese government adopt and implement a risk management approach to customs and specialized inspection agencies. Total estimated capital of the program is US$22.22 million, including US$21.78 million granted by the US government and the remaining by the Vietnamese government. The first six cities and provinces benefiting from the program include Hanoi, Hai Phong, Quang Tri, Da Nang, Dong Nai and Ho Chi Minh City.

The program will help Vietnam develop a more attractive and predictable trade and investment climate for domestic small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as international traders and investors. It will also aim to reform, standardize, harmonize and simplify import and export procedures in accordance with international standards, towards implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organization.

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said the Vietnamese government has implemented specific measures to improve the business and investment environment, increase national competitiveness and create a transparent, favorable and equal environment for the business community. The National Steering Committee on ASEAN Single Window (ASW), National Single Window (NSW) and Trade Facilitation has been established in the spirit of this policy.
Under the direction of the government, as many as 173 administrative procedures of 13 ministries and departments have been connected to the NSW, and nearly 2.2 million documents of more than 29,800 enterprises have been processed.

Regarding specialized inspections, as of March 2019, goods subject to specialized inspections have decreased by 12,600 items to 70,000. The Vietnamese government is committed to reducing shipments subject to specialized inspections to less than 10 percent by 2020.

According to Resolution 02/NQ-CP dated January 1, 2019, Vietnam aims to improve its international business environment ranking tracked by the World Bank (WB), World Economic Forum (WEF), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and United Nations (UN). Vietnam has set targets to improve its rankings by 5-7 positions in the WB’s Ease of Doing Business in 2019 and 15-20 places by 2021; 3-5 positions in WEF’s Global Competitiveness in 2019 and 5-10 places by 2021; and 2-3 positions in WIPO’s Global Innovation in 2019 and 5-7 places by 2021. In addition, Vietnam seeks to be among ASEAN 4 with the best business environment by 2021. Ministries and ministerial-level agencies should complete reviewing and substantially reduce 50 percent of goods subject to specialized inspection, and apply risk management principles based on assessment and analysis of the compliance level of enterprises and the extent and scale of risks.

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said the trade facilitation program is practical, timely and necessary, meeting the expectation of the Vietnamese government in implementing the TFA and new-generation free trade agreements.
US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink said Vietnam is one of America’s fastest growing markets worldwide. The US government is proud to be a partner of the Vietnamese government in supporting the trade facilitation program and accelerating reforms to improve the business environment and enhance national competitiveness.

Nguyen Huong