US Ambassador to Viet Nam Daniel J. Kritenbrink speaks at the launch conference. — VNS Photo Phuong Thao
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Viet Nam’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) launched the USAID Trade Facilitation Programme in Ha Noi on Wednesday.
The project will be implemented over five years with total investment of more than US$21.78 million.
USAID Trade Facilitation Programme aims to support the Government of Viet Nam in adopting and implementing a risk management approach to customs and specialised inspection agencies, which will strengthen the implementation of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of which both Viet Nam and the United States are members.
This will assist Viet Nam in achieving its development objectives while reducing time and costs in trade.
The programme will work with the General Department of Viet Nam Customs (GDVC) and the MoF, to strengthen the role and capacity of Viet Nam’s National Trade Facilitation Committee and their associated working groups to improve the efficiency of specialised inspections and customs-to-business partnerships.
It will also train customs officers on risk management, and facilitate national-provincial dialogue as well as dialogue between GDVC and the business community on trade facilitation and customs issues.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said trade facilitation measures help the economy and the business community.
In response to the practical requirements of world trade, the WTO negotiated and approved a TFA at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference held in Bali, Indonesia in 2014. Viet Nam, as a member of the WTO, also completed the ratification of the TFA on November 26, 2015.
At the national level, the Government of Viet Nam has drastically directed and implemented specific measures to improve the business investment environment, national competitiveness and create a transparent, convenient and equal business environment for the business community. Since 2016, the National Steering Committee on ASEAN Single Window (ASW), National Single Window (NSW) and trade facilitation has been established.
Under the direction of the Government, as many as 173 administrative procedures of 13 ministries and sectors have been connected to the NSW, with a total of nearly 2.2 million documents of more than 29,800 thousand enterprises processed.
The Deputy PM said the USAID Trade Facilitation Programme is practical, timely and necessary, meeting the expectation of Viet Nam’s Government in implementing the TFA and new generation Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
Hue also proposed the MoF coordinate closely with ministries, departments, localities and USAID as well as the private sector to organise the implementation of the project effectively.
US Ambassador to Viet Nam Daniel J. Kritenbrink said the US Government is proud to be a partner of the Government of Viet Nam to support the trade facilitation programme, and accelerate reforms to improve the business environment and enhance national competitiveness.
Nguyen Thi Mai Huong, an officer of Sumidenso Viet Nam Co. Ltd. told Viet Nam News that the company looks forward to seeing positive changes in post-clearance audit and specialised audit when the programme is implemented. — VNS
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