ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
VN up 14 ranks in trade ease index
Viet Nam has climbed up 14 ranks to number 73 in the Global Enabling Trade Index according to the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) report.
The WEF report lists four key sub-indices in terms of performance for each country: domestic and foreign market access; efficiency and transparency of border administration; transport infrastructure; and operating environment.
Of the four, Viet Nam scored highest in domestic market access at 4.9, ranking 77th of 136. It also showed great improvement in other indices and a general upward trend. For instance, it ranked 66th in national availability and use of information and communications technology, and 77th in operating environment.
The report says Viet Nam has improved significantly in trade capacity, largely driven by improvements in customs efficiency and reduction in waiting time for import and export compliance procedures. It said these changes reflect the government’s ongoing efforts to streamline operations and decrease the burden of inspection through numerous agencies in order for country to meet international standards.
Another clear improvement for Việt Nam in the 2016 report is its placement in 19th place for international maritime trade connectivity, nine ranks up over last year.
The report commends Viet Nam for making considerable efforts to improve market access for imports, through increasing the proportion of duty free imports from 55 to 71 per cent compared to 2014, creating favourable conditions for exporting and importing businesses, and enhancing Việt Nam’s commercial competitiveness. More and more foreign businesses are conducting trade with domestic firms, the report notes.
The country’s capability to penetrate foreign markets has also grown due to relatively low customs tariffs, down from 3.8 to 3.3 per cent, and an increase in preferential treatment for countries importing from Viet Nam.
The report also notes that in recent years, Việt Nam’s infrastructure and transportation sectors have been continuously upgraded despite many challenges in planning and development. The Government hopes to improve the national business environment with active participation in regional economic forums and free trade agreements, adequate property protection and improved public sector efficiency.
Nonetheless, compared to neighbouring countries, Việt Nam’s current customs procedures and border access have been undermining its commercial competitiveness, the report says.
It identifies several problematic factors in imports, including burdensome procedures, tariffs and non-tariff barriers and high cost or delays caused by transportation.
Export sector problems include difficulties in identifying potential markets and buyers, technical requirements and standards, and high cost or delays caused by domestic procedures.
The report was jointly prepared by the WEF and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, featuring an Enabling Trade Index for 136 economies.
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