Cross-border business busy after China’s reopening

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2023 17:48

Container trucks cross the Kim Thanh 2 international border gate in the northern province of Lao Cai. — VNA/VNS Photo Quoc Khanh

As soon as China reopened its border on January 8, business between Viet Nam and China became busy again after a nearly three-year disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy head of the border station based at the Kim Thanh International Bordergate in the northern province of Lao Cai Senior Lieutenant Hoang Minh Du said that from January 8, the volume of goods traded via the border gate increased daily.

Particularly, on January 11, the border gate saw 71 trucks carrying goods for export and 158 trucks carrying imported goods.

Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, about 200 trucks travelled through the border gate daily.

However, at the border gate, China still maintains the delivery of import and export goods by specialised drivers who can drive trucks through the border gate from China to Viet Nam and vice versa but the drivers are not required to wear protective clothes anymore, according to Du.

The goods-checking stage is also removed so the delivery of import and export goods between enterprises of the two countries is convenient and fast, he said.

In the border province of Lang Son, parking areas at the Tan Thanh Border Gate and the Huu Nghi International Border Gate are filled with trucks that carry products for export.

The truck drivers are no longer required to wear protective clothing and they can talk to each other when queuing for check-in procedures.

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Nhung, a representative of the Hoa Cuong Fruit Import-Export Co Ltd from the southern province of Long An, said that her company exports five to six containers of jackfruit and dragon fruit to China every day through border gates in Lang Son.

Previously, once reaching the border gate, her trucks had to wait for at least a half day and drivers must open containers for authorities to check goods and take samples for COVID-19 testing.

Thus, her company had to spend an additional VND2 - VND4 million (US$85-170) for each truck at that time.

Since January 8, businesses have saved tens of millions of dong every day when they no longer have to pay for disease prevention and control, Nhung told Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper.

Huynh Tan Dat, Deputy Director of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that China is the most important export market of Viet Nam's agricultural sector, including the fruit and vegetable industry.

Dat said that if Viet Nam's agricultural products and fruits meet requirements on food safety, quality, and product design, the country has a great opportunity to export to China.

As Viet Nam and China share a long border with numerous border gates, Viet Nam has a competitive advantage in terms of price and transportation costs, Dat said, adding that the export of Vietnamese agricultural products to China, particularly durian, banana, and sweet potato will grow strongly this year.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien, Viet Nam's exports of agricultural goods and products to China account for about 19.2 per cent of the market share of goods and agricultural products imported to the country.

China's border reopening is a great opportunity for Vietnamese goods and agricultural products to penetrate deeply into that market, Tien said. — VNS

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