The first meeting of the national steering committee for the ASEAN Single Window, the NSW and trade facilitation on December 8 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Subjective and objective shortcomings have hampered the national single window (NSW) mechanism from fully benefiting businesses, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has said.

He made the assessment at a meeting of the national steering committee for the ASEAN Single Window, the NSW and trade facilitation in Hanoi on December 8.

He attributed the flaws to lax coordination among ministries and sectors in administrative procedures.

The most important point is that ministries, sectors, authorities at all levels, enterprises and people must be fully aware of the NSW, he said, repeating the Government’s commitment to providing optimal conditions for businesses.

Highlighting the NSW’s benefits, Hue said it helps save custom clearance costs and time and creates an attractive investment climate, improving national competitiveness. The mechanism is also useful to building a modern administration, a component of an e-government.

Only 13 percent or 36 of the 280 administrative procedures are performed through the NSW. Meanwhile, Vietnam targets 80 percent and 100 percent of those procedures to be handled by the NSW by 2018 and 2020, respectively.

The Deputy PM asked for all administrative procedures related to state management of imports, exports, goods in transit, people and vehicles entering, exiting or in transit in Vietnam to be handled through the NSW at level 4 – the highest level of online public services.

The Government aims to put Vietnam in the top four ASEAN countries in terms of administrative procedures settlement by 2020.

Those objectives are not easy to achieve, and utmost efforts must be made to realise them, Hue stressed.

He underlined the need to persuade businesses to have their procedures handled through the NSW as the mechanism won’t be effective if businesses don’t use it.

Ministries and sectors must overhaul legal frameworks and streamline administrative procedures since most obstacles come from this step. The national steering committee should listen to the opinions of firms to minimise irksome procedures, he added.

Ten ministries and sectors have used the NSW as of November 2016. 213,000 administrative dossiers of more than 8,350 businesses were handled through the NSW by November 25, said General Director of the General Department of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can.

According to the World Bank, Vietnam climbed 15 places from 2015 to the 93rd position among 190 economies in terms of trading across borders. The time needed to carry out export and import procedures is 108 and 138 hours, respectively. 

While the time for document compliance for imports was cut from 106 hours to 76 hours, while that for exports was reduced to 50 hours from 83 hours. The cost for document compliance for both imports and exports is about 2.5 USD per hour, saving 600 million USD in the first 10 months of 2016.-VNA