The customs sector has identified implementing the Trade Facilitation (TF) Agreement of the World Trade Organisation as a priority in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Year 2017.
The Vietnam Customs and the US Agency for International Development organised a workshop in Hanoi on November 14 to prepare for Vietnam’s hosting of the APEC forum next year.
Nguyen Duc Dung, a representative from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said trade facilitation should focus on encouraging customs agencies, service suppliers and business associations to exchange information.
Participants suggested strengthening transparency and improving the legal system while accelerating goods inspections since a lot of Vietnamese exports have to undergo stringent customs procedures that waste time and money.
Strong connectivity between the 21 APEC member economies will improve import-export activities, experts said, adding that Vietnam needs assistance from other nations to be more involved in international treaties, especially the TF agreement.
The supply chain framework and the national single window mechanism are also among top priorities, heard the workshop.
Attendants agreed to place a high premium on customs cooperation in information technology and risk management, intellectual property and cross-border e-commerce.