Evaluation of the Vietnam Trade Information Portal

Luong, Van Dat (2017) Evaluation of the Vietnam Trade Information Portal. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Abstract

Trade policy is increasingly concerning itself with trade facilitation and countries like Vietnam are forced to consider the operational quality of their trade and customs environment, especially after the ratification of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement on February 2017. One of the key objectives of the Agreement is to improve transparency, which gives the rise to establishment of the Trade Information Portal that provides all regulatory information related to export, import and transit activities. Furthermore, evaluation of the portal plays an integral part of the entire Trade Information Portal programme. This is because it serves as evidence to dictate whether the programme is successful or not. Although the implementation of the Trade Information Portal has been put in place in many countries, research on their evaluation is still limited. Fortunately, with the help from my supervisor, the author could approach the project team who have been implementing the Vietnam Trade Information Portal to have full access to their data. Therefore, following this pragmatic approach, the Vietnam Trade Information Portal (VTIP) has been chosen as a case study for the evaluation.

By reviewing relevant literature, this study has identified some gaps between e-government evaluation literature and the trade information portal guideline from the World Bank and outlined several research questions that need to be addressed as follows: What are benefits of VTIP to different stakeholders such as traders, governments, donors, etc.? How does VTIP contribute to trade facilitation in Vietnam, and How can VTIP be evaluated?.

The existing evaluation methods conducted by the project team which are survey/ interview, Google Analytics, the survey toolkit focus mainly on benefits brought by VTIP to traders, but there are potential benefits to a wide range of stakeholders. The Portal not only enables traders to make trade compliance easier but also assists the Vietnamese Government in the process of modernisation and simplification of rules and regulations. Besides, VTIP can serve as an useful channel to accommodate practical needs and expectations from the business community over the portal. By supporting the implementation of the Trade Information Portal Program, World Bank can achieve their twin missions of raising living standard and reducing poverty.

This paper also contributes to the understanding of how VTIP supports Vietnam’s effort to promote trade facilitation. The launch of the Portal has shown Vietnam’s strong commitment to the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. More importantly, VTIP is a crucial step to improve transparency in Vietnam. It is not just about publicising all information on the Internet, but the trade-related information becomes more transparent in terms of predictability and simplification. With the establishment of the National Steering Committee for the ASEAN Single Window, the National Single Window, and trade facilitation as a stepping stone, VNNSW and VTIP are initial successes of implementing trade facilitation in Vietnam.

The current methods deployed by the project team evaluating the Vietnam Trade Information Portal are practical, easy to implement, and be able to gauge the effectiveness of the portal. However, this study has found that it is extremely difficult to quantify the benefits of the portal in terms of time and cost savings to traders. Besides, both the author and the project team implementing VTIP have faced with a great challenge in the process of evaluation when attempting to interview Vietnamese traders about VTIP. In spite of these challenges, further evaluation should be put in place as it would contribute significantly to the success of the trade information portal program. The evaluation methods mentioned above lack a holistic approach to evaluate VTIP. They merely considered the benefits and measured the effectiveness of the portal, but overlooked other considerable factors such as cost and risk. The study has found relevant literature on user-centric e-government evaluation, in particular, models that examine quality measurement of e-government services, which could make it up for drawbacks of current evaluation methods. Therefore, it is suggested that a potential model namely COBRAS could be applied into the case of VTIP.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: Evaluation, VTIP, Trade Information Portal
Depositing User: Luong, Van
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2018 10:32
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2018 15:12
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/45871

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