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Vietnam’s cross-border trade index drops by seven places
By Thuy Dung
Tuesday,  Jan 22, 2019,20:04 (GMT+7)

Vietnam’s cross-border trade index drops by seven places

By Thuy Dung

Nguyen Dinh Cung (standing), president of the Central Institute for Economic Management, speaks at the conference on promoting the business environment and enhancing national competitiveness in Hanoi on January 22 – PHOTO: VNECONOMY NEWS WEBSITE

HANOI – After five years of executing the Government’s Resolution 19 on the improvement of the national business environment, Vietnam’s business climate index has risen by 13 spots, but its index on cross-border trade has fallen by seven places, according to a conference in Hanoi City today, January 22.

The Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) held the conference to review the execution of Resolution 19 and introduce its recently revised resolution on promoting the business environment and enhancing national competitiveness.

The key content of Resolution 19 is to make far-reaching reforms on regulations on the administration of specialized inspections for imports and exports.

The resolution sets out requirements for the application of risk management principles when changes from pre- to post-clearance inspections are made, the adoption of international practices, cost reductions and the digitalization of procedures.

According to the CIEM, the management of specialized inspections has significantly improved compared to 2014, the year the resolution was issued.

Most specialized inspection procedures have been simplified and are more transparent, leading to shorter periods of execution and lower costs, and making significant contributions to the improvement of the national business climate.

Vietnam edged up 13 spots to 69th place in the World Bank Group’s annual ease of doing business rankings between 2015 and 2018. However, its index on cross-border trade fell by seven spots from 93rd to 100th place among 190 economies.

Despite recent improvements, import and export procedures have yet to be on par with those in other countries. In addition, customs clearance procedures on goods subject to specialized inspections are still lengthy, complicated and costly.

Nguyen Minh Thao, head of the CIEM’s Business Environment and Competitiveness Department, stated at the conference that the Government should continue making wide-ranging reforms on specialized inspection administration, especially in the application of risk management principles.

She noted that the Government should make sharp reductions to the list of commodities subject to pre-clearance inspections. These inspections should only be conducted in essential cases.

Further, authorities should not merely focus on the import stage but should conduct inspections before, during and after the import is completed and pay special attention to checks on goods circulation.

She added that the Government should accept the quality of imported products made by known producers, in line with high technical standards, and fully adopt the commitments in free trade agreements on trade facilitation.

For Vietnam to reach the average of the ASEAN Top 4 in business environment rankings, according to CIEM President Nguyen Dinh Cung, all specialized inspection procedures should be digital through the National Single Window system and should be integrated into customs clearance procedures through a single agency, the General Departments of Vietnam Customs.

He said that the reduction in direct contact between management agencies, businesses and residents would reduce bribery and petty corruption and raise the efficiency of State governance.

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