HANOI, July 12, 2017 — Vietnam’s business community now has a one-stop shop to get information on import-export regulations and procedures, thanks to the newly-launched Vietnam Trade Information Portal (VTIP). Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung, World Bank’s Acting Country Director Sebastian Eckardt, and Director General of Vietnam Custom Nguyen Van Can jointly pushed the button to make VTIP live. Hosted by the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) under the Ministry of Finance, with support from the World Bank Group in Vietnam, the portal is expected to help improve the predictability and transparency of the country’s trading laws and processes, giving foreign and domestic investors quick access to Vietnam’s trade rules. “With the official launch and operation of the Vietnam Trade Information Portal, we hope that business community and other stakeholders will be provided with a useful tool and able to find sufficient and necessary information for the facilitation of import – export activities. The Ministry of Finance, as the leading agency in the implementation of the WTO FTA, has committed to close coordination with government agencies, private sector as well as international organizations to ensure the efficient cooperation and information sharing for the sustainability of VTIP and contribute to the realization of Vietnam’s international commitments to transparency,” said Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung. The initiative is the latest government effort to increase access to information and to comply with the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. The website will include existing trade regulations and procedures such as laws, administrative procedures, guidance notes, forms, licenses, permits, and applicable fees in both Vietnamese and English. “Trade is an important engine of growth for Vietnam and having fast and easy access to information on import and export procedures is crucial for traders and investors,” said Sebastian Eckardt, the World Bank Acting Country Director for Vietnam. “The Vietnam Trade Information Portal now provides a one-stop access point where users can find information from more than a dozen ministries and state agencies that are involved in trade procedures. The portal is an essential piece of a larger, on-going effort by the Government to enhance trade facilitation and the World Bank stands ready to continue to provide support to these important efforts.” Having a single portal containing all trade regulations and procedures will save businesses time and operational costs, especially for small and medium enterprises interested or involved in the import, export and transit sectors. Some of VTIP’s other features include: an overview of Vietnam’s economy, business startup process, import and export guide, customs terminology, as well as information on special economic areas, export processing zones, cross-border trade and GSP automation; international, regional and bi-lateral trade agreements to which Vietnam is a party, including applicable rules and requirements as well as associated benefits; a selection of websites of international organizations or institutions that can bring further support to overseas expansion and tools allowing exporters to perform trade potential analysis, desk research and market surveys. The portal is also expected to improve trade regulations themselves, as legislators are now able to easily identify the complexity of current regulations and procedures when applied to commodities and to suggest areas of modernization and simplification while easily monitoring the progress of such processes. Vietnam has climbed 9 spots to 82 from 91 on the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 ranking, and moved 15 spots up to 93 from 108 for improved border-trade indicators related to import-export operations. VTIP is a major step towards Vietnam’s goal of being one of the top 4 easiest places for doing business in ASEAN by 2020.