Vietnam’s financial sector is well prepared to ensure the demands of integration once the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is formed by the end of this year, according to Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung.

Dung granted an interview to the Vietnam News Agency after participating in the 19th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting (AFMM-19) and the first ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Joint Meeting, which wrapped up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on March 21.

Regarding taxation, the minister stated that Vietnam’s tax rates have basically met ASEAN’s requirement on tax reduction, while attention is being paid to harmonising tax procedures.

The finance sector has also provided e-customs services nationwide and is working hard to implement a national one-stop-shop customs mechanism in readiness to apply the ASEAN model by the end of the year, he added.

The minister went on to say that by attending these meetings, the Vietnamese delegation had focused discussions on the AEC building process and on boosting cooperation in taxation management.

To date, 85 percent of the work required for the establishment of the AEC has been completed. However, challenges remain for the ASEAN member countries and they have to put forth plans of action to strengthen the regional community, including intensifying financial stability, supporting capacity improvement, narrowing the development gap, and enhancing micro-economic supervision mechanisms and policy dialogue, stated Dung.

At the meetings, participants discussed financial cooperation in insurance, customs and infrastructure financing, tax and customs measures to ensure budget revenue, and ways in which to crack down on tax fraud.

Dung stated that the organisation of the ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Joint Meeting for the first time reflected the determination of the bloc’s financial leaders to coordinate closely in accelerating the integration process after the AEC is formed.-VNA