Thailand’s single window to clear trade
BANGKOK (Bangkok Post) – The Thai government plans to create a single online database for importing and exporting through a national single window by 2018 as part of efforts to avoid potential corruption and bribery in processes where the state and private sectors meet.
Having a single online database should allow the private sector reliable access to greater consolidated information resources and facilitate import and export procedures, said Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).
The platform can also be used to prevent potential corruption risks related to lobbying or procurement processes and eliminate red tape raised during face-to-face consultations.
Initiated by the Finance Ministry, the national single window platform is meant to accommodate digital connectivity among all state agencies. It is tentatively scheduled to be implemented in 2018.
Mr. Takorn said the platform also aims to promote the development of the country’s digital economy as well as create better transparency through efficient management and monitoring of state digital information.
Last month the Finance Ministry asked NBTC representatives to join a discussion because the regulator governs the country’s telecom and broadcasting industries that import equipment with massive value every year.
Presently the database systems of state agencies in Thailand are managed based on their own platforms, making it inconvenient for the private sector in dealing with them and opening up possible corruption risks, he said.
For example, the import of some equipment, especially in the telecom sector, requires contacting several state authorities before receiving approval, leading to possible lobbying and corruption risks, said Mr. Takorn.
Under the national single window concept, he said the government will create an integrated information and database platform from all state agencies related to importing and exporting such as the customs, excise and revenue departments as well as the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry.
“The single online database complements the government’s national data center,” said Mr. Takorn.
The government is on the verge of establishing a national data center as part of its digital economy development road map.
The development of a national data center has been divided into three stages – providing open digital data to the public through state agency websites, forming a data analytics center and developing centralized state data centers.
State agencies have 300 combined data centers with total space of 36,000 square meters.
The government is in the process of consolidating them to 200 data centers within five years to better manage the country’s data systems.