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A new tool to improve trade-related regulatory transparency and
private sector engagement are key drivers to regional economic integration.

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Ngoi Nha Chung Production Service Trading Ltd. is a relatively new company in Viet Nam. Established in 2015, it focuses on exporting seafood and telecommunication products to Lao PDR and importing electronic devices from Lao PDR to Viet Nam.

‘Entering a new market is never easy, especially for SMEs like ours’, Lan Hoang Thi of Ngoi Nha Chung said. When she saw the opportunity to export seafood to Lao PDR’s market, ‘I didn’t know where to find the import-export regulations of Lao PDR’. Hoang Thi turned to online resources and had to visit different websites of many government agencies, ‘It took a lot of time and money’, she added.

Trade-related regulatory transparency is one of the fundamental catalysts for economic development, crossborder investment, trade and ultimately ASEAN regional integration. The EU, through the ARISE+ programme, has supported ASEAN in its efforts to structure and introduce the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR). The ATR is mandated under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) and provides an online single point of access to the trade-related information of all ASEAN Member States, particularly their trade and customs laws and procedures. The ATR currently contains over 6 000 measures from all ten ASEAN Member States.

When Lan Hoang Thi came across the ATR, she was ecstatic, ‘I found everything I needed in one place and all the information was very updated, reliable and in English’, she exclaimed.

In 2021, the ARISE+ programme held a series of outreach events and intensive ‘train-the-trainers’ workshops to key private sector representatives in all ASEAN Member States.

As Hoang Thi is looking to further expand her business, ‘I rely on the ATR for all trade related information to help me build my business plan

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