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New decree pushes trade to get in line with WTO commitments

Update: August, 12/2015 - 08:15

A customs official of Lao Cai Province's Customs Department checks imported potatoes. Viet Nam is imposing measures, taxes and regulations on imports to achieve an improved trade balance by 2020. — VNA/VNS Photo Pham Hau

HA NOI (VNS) — Decision 1233/QD-TTg, which took effect August 3, has set new trade targets and regulations for the 2016-20 period, concerned with reducing the current trade deficit and getting the country in line with trade commitments.

The goals are part of a larger project to improve import management in order to foster a more transparent and stable business climate that increases predictability and import monitoring capabilities.

Import and export companies will be expected to achieve an average annual export growth rate of 11 per cent and a maximum import growth rate of 10 per cent, in addition to several other changes.

On the agenda is the creation of several tax and non-tax measures that comply with commitments to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements (FTAs).

Ceiling import tariffs will be adjusted to fulfill commitments to the WTO and a tax liberalisation roapmap will be outlined. Viet Nam will also intensify enforcement of Technical Barriers to Trade, and Sanitary and Phytosanitary regulations and safeguards.

To help increase imports, tariffs and duties, such as an environmental protection tax, are expected to enhance the global competitiveness of domestically produced goods.

The country will also focus attention on improving import management measures by evaluating current measures' efficacy and cut unnecessary and timely administrative procedures.

The numerous measures are needed in order to tackle the trade deficit, reported by the General Department of Customs as being US$3.96 billion as of July 15. — VNS



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