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Vietnam’s Enhancing E-commerce Governance

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has issued Directive No. 18/CT-TTg, which aims to enhance data connectivity and sharing to foster the growth of e-commerce, prevent tax loss, and safeguard monetary security.

The directive acknowledged that the rapid expansion of the e-commerce market has presented significant challenges in effectively managing e-commerce activities and tax administration. It emphasised the need for close collaboration among specialised management agencies to regulate payment transactions and verify the information of businesses, individuals, and taxpayers in response to the evolving digital business landscape.

The Prime Minister has assigned specific tasks to various ministries and agencies in the directive. They will enhance efficiency and facilitate digital transformation in the governance of e-commerce activities, digital platform trading, cross-border business, and data sharing among ministries and agencies for the advancement of e-commerce.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has been assigned the responsibility to collaborate with other relevant ministries in the process of amending legal documents pertaining to e-commerce. This includes streamlining administrative procedures and implementing strict measures to address tax and customs violations.

It has also been assigned the responsibility of developing a comprehensive plan for data connection and sharing with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC), the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS), the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), and other relevant agencies. This plan aims to strengthen tax administration for e-commerce activities and the provision of cross-border digital products and services. The deadline for completing this plan is set for the third quarter of this year.

MoIC is tasked with coordinating efforts among ministries and agencies to standardise, digitise, connect, and share data pertaining to e-commerce. SBV has been directed to collaborate with MoF and other relevant agencies to establish a mechanism for overseeing payment transactions. This mechanism will specifically support tax administration for cross-border service provision, in accordance with the Law on Tax Administration and other related legislations.

MoPS has been urged to accelerate the integration of the national population database with the databases and information systems of ministries, agencies, and local authorities. This integration is crucial for implementing e-identification and e-authentication systems. The MoPS is also tasked with collaborating with relevant agencies to refine specialised laws and policies that safeguard e-commerce development and monetary security, as well as prevent tax loss.

The Government Office will coordinate with relevant ministries in continuing to promote the integration and provision of online public services, and online payment in the fields of taxation and e-commerce on the National Public Service Portal.

Earlier this week, SBV urged banks, foreign bank branches, and intermediaries in payment services to actively support the advancement of cashless transactions and the implementation of the national digital transformation programme.

The move aims to aid the plan on developing the application of resident data and electronic identification and authentication to support the national digital transformation agenda during the period of 2022-2025, with a vision extending to 2030.

As OpenGov Asia reported, the banks, foreign bank branches, and intermediaries in payment services will persist in their efforts to devise favourable programmes and policies concerning payment and intermediary payment service fees for customers. The SBV has also urged them to waive account maintenance fees and cash withdrawal fees for customers entitled to the social security policy. They have been instructed to proactively engage in practical initiatives to commemorate Cashless Day 2023, which takes place on 16 June, and to continue their efforts throughout the entire month.

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