VCN - Deputy Director General of Vietnam Customs Mai Xuan Thanh welcomed Kari Kahiluoto - Ambassador of Finland in Vietnam recently.
Introducing the Finnish Ambassador at the meeting, Thanh said that, in recent years, Vietnam Customs always strived to lead in creating public services that complied with advanced customs standards in the world, gradually applying international treaties to practical activities, applying science and technology, especially IT to customs management; customs procedures simplified, processed automatically, gathering quickly and effectively, improving the business environment and raising the competitiveness of the Vietnamese economy.
Vietnam Customs has also effectively implemented customs laws and policies, fighting against smuggling, trade fraud and illegal transportation of prohibited goods, especially narcotics and goods violating international conventions such as CITES.
“Currently, Vietnam Customs is assigned by the Vietnam Government to act as the permanent agency of the National Steering Committee on ASEAN Single Window, National Single Window and Trade Facilitation (Commission steering committee 1899); standing agency of the National Steering Committee on smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeiting (National Steering Committee 389). The Customs authority advises the Government and performs the tasks in efforts to fully and effectively implement international commitments, especially free trade agreements,” Thanh stressed.
|Scene of the working session. Photo: H.Nụ|
At the same time, Vietnam Customs has participated in integration activities within the framework of multilateral institutions such as ASEAN, WCO, WTO, APEC and ASEM. Vietnam Customs successfully organised ASEM 13 in Ha Long, Vietnam in October 2019. This activity was supported and appreciated by a large number of member countries, including Finland. The goal in 2020 - 2021 of Vietnam Customs focuses on trade facilitation and supply chain security; social and environmental protection; information exchange and vision.
According to Deputy Director General Mai Xuan Thanh, in terms of cooperation in customs, over the past time, relations between the two countries have only cooperated in multilateral frameworks of WCO and ASEM. Although the import and export turnover of the two countries has increased over the years, reaching about $300 million per year, Finland is far from Vietnam in terms of geography and Finland is not a place for transshipment, so the turnover of the two countries only increased by a certain extent. Therefore, bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the field of customs was still limited. Therefore, Vietnam Customs expected the ambassador would be a bridge to promote relations between the two countries and between the two Customs authorities in particular.
According to Deputy Director General Mai Xuan Thanh, the Vietnam - EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was approved by the European Parliament and will take effect soon. In particular, in Chapter 4: Customs and trade facilitation includes commitments on customs procedures; commitments on trade facilitation; commitments on transparency and business support. Therefore, member countries also needed to establish a bilateral cooperation framework to concretise commitments under the EVFTA.
On this issue, the Finnish Ambassador to Vietnam emphasised that Finland attended the ASEM event hosted by Vietnam Customs in Ha Long City in 2019. This event showed Vietnam Customs was playing and would continue to play a very important role in economic development and promoting production and business activities of Vietnamese enterprises in particular and of the above countries in general.
To promote relations between the two countries in the future, the Finnish Ambassador Embassy to Vietnam wished to cooperate with Vietnam Customs to organise dialogues on tax and customs policies with Finnish firms that have been operating in Vietnam annually.
Besides that, the Ambassador hoped that the two countries would send a contact point to continue exchanging and discussing promoting bilateral cooperation.
Regarding organising a dialogue with the Finnish business community, Deputy General Director Mai Xuan Thanh agreed with the Ambassador and would conduct the preparation, hand over the focal points to receive information, make proposals and collect opinions of businesses to close related content. If agreed, the two sides could hold a dialogue with the Finnish business community in Vietnam in October 2020 in HCM City.
Deputy General Director hoped this meeting would create a cooperative relationship between Vietnam and Finland Customs, promoting the relationship between Vietnam and Finland, especially by increasing business economy growth and scale development to much higher than the present.
By Đảo Lê/Thanh Thuy