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Vietnam has more red tape untangling to do

By Nguyen Ha   July 26, 2018 | 04:00 am PT
Administrative reform has made much headway in Vietnam, but it is still to catch up with advanced countries, experts say.

At the National Single Window (NSW) and ASEAN Single Window (ASW) conference recently held in Hanoi, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue cited a World Bank report on the gains Vietnam has made with its admin reforms so far.

These included a $19 drop in the average customs clearing charges per shipment, he said, noting that by the end of 2017, Vietnam had saved $205 million in 10.81 million paperwork applications, as well as 15 million and 33 million hours in export and import paper-work respectively.

Nguyen Dinh Cung, director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), noted that the reforms were still distant from targets set by the nation, and “there is still a big gap” compared to other countries.

Cung said some product categories have to face two to three inspection rounds within the same department or ministry.

The Ministry of Finance admitted at the meeting that Vietnam was still far behind in achieving an NSW. Ministries have only completed 53 out of 283 protocols required for this to happen, it added.

Businesses and independent surveyors also reported that when filling out paperwork, enterprises were still being asked to send documents electronically and as hard-copies. Furthermore, the lack of information sharing between departments led to overlaps and loss of time.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc set a specific minimum target of completing 130 protocols for the NSW by the end of this year.

Phuc also set other targets – keeping the amount of shipments required to pass inspections below 15 percent, and cutting the amount of products in the specialized management and management categories by 50 percent.

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