Border trade with China thrives

09:06 | 26/03/2018 Trade

(VEN) - Vibrant import, export activities at border crossings in the first two months of 2018 promise a year of thriving cross-border trade.

border trade with china thrives

Record growth

One of the crossings that saw record increases in import, export value was Tra Linh in Cao Bang Province, bordering China. According to Nong Son Binh, Head of the Management Board of the Tra Linh Border Crossing, major kinds of goods exported via this crossing include cashew nuts, bamboo and rattan shavings, and imported goods include coke, fabrics, speaker components, electrodes and steel scrap. Total value of imports, exports reached more than US$8.87 million in January 2018, a rise of 806.98 percent compared with January 2017. This included more than US$3.27 billion worth of exports and about US$5.60 million worth of imports. Total taxes collected from these activities exceeded VND3.43 billion, up 229.05 percent.

Another example is the Huu Nghi Border Crossing to China in Lang Son Province. From the beginning of 2018 to February 19, total value of goods traded via this border crossing reached about US$371 million, a rise of 163 percent compared with the same period in 2017. This included US$170 million worth of exports, up 170 percent, and US$201 million worth of imports, up 158 percent. Taxes collected from these activities increased by an estimated 28 percent. In a talk with Vietnam Economic News reporters, Nong Quang Hung, Deputy Director of the Huu Nghi Border Crossing Customs Department, indicated various reasons for this growth, the most important of which is effective control of fraudulent trade and smuggling. He also believes the value of imports and exports via the Huu Nghi Border Crossing in 2018 will grow further.

The Coc Nam Border Crossing in Lang Son Province also saw strong increases in both volume and value of imported and exported goods. From the beginning of the year to February 8, total value of goods traded via this border crossing reached US$155 million, up 181 percent compared with the same period in 2017. According to the customs department of the Lao Cai International Border Crossing with China, the value of goods exported in February 2018 reached an estimated US$90 million, up 18.97 percent compared with January. In the first two months of 2018, the value of goods exported via this border crossing totaled about US$165.65 million, equivalent to 25.88 percent of the annual plan.

Measures to increase exports

Despite positive changes in import, export activities via border crossings in early 2018, economists believe border trade still faces numerous difficulties. These are due to the inadequacy of the infrastructure catering for the supervision of import, export activities and ineffective coordination among relevant authorities. Moreover, companies still take advantage of loopholes in laws and regulations to smuggle goods in order to avoid tax payment. Unless timely action is taken, the 10 percent export growth target set for 2018 will not be sustainable and will result in losses for the state budget.

To promote imports and exports, border crossings have taken specific measures from the beginning of 2018. The Tra Linh Border Crossing Management Board has coordinated with the provincial investment project and economic zone management boards, as well as local government authorities, to accelerate site clearance for infrastructure projects. At the same time, they have tightened supervision over import, export activities, and simplified administrative procedures to facilitate border trade.

border trade with china thrives

A representative of the Customs Department at the Coc Nam Border Crossing with China said since late 2017, the department had proposed a number of measures to support import, export activities in 2018, including measures to combat smuggling and fraudulent trade, simplifying administrative procedures and applying information technology to facilitate customs declarations. From now to the end of 2018, the department will continue tightening management and providing guidance for its staff to help them deal with difficulties facing import, export activities.

Do Truong Giang, Director of the Lao Cai Industry and Trade Department, said the provincial industry and trade sector will continue updating Vietnamese businesses on changes in Chinese import, export policies in 2018. At the same time, the sector will promote cross-border exchange of goods by negotiating with Yunnan Province’s authorities to increase the range of goods that can be transported by heavy trucks directly from Lao Cai to Yunnan, and extend the opening hours for customs clearance at the Kim Thanh International Border Crossing in Lao Cai Province and the Hekou Border Crossing in Yunnan Province.

According to the Lao Cai Industry and Trade Department, total value of goods imported and exported via the province in February 2018 reached US$220 million, a rise of 18.98 percent compared with January. Total import, export value in the first two months reached an estimated US$404.91 million, equivalent to 13.96 percent of the annual plan.