Vietnam Urges China to Accelerate Market Opening for Vietnamese Agricultural Products

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on January 13 asked China to create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese agricultural products to enter its market.
January 14, 2022 | 08:48
Vietnam Urges China to Accelerate Market Opening for Vietnamese Agricultural Products
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. Photo: VGP

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh talked over the phone with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on January 13, on the occasion of the 72nd founding anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (January 18, 1950 - 2022).

During the talks, Chinh said both sides should closely co-ordinate and adopt effective measures aimed at addressing the goods congestion occurring at border gates in order to maintain stable supply and production chains between the two countries, VOV reported.

He proposed that China continue to expand the opening of its market for a number of Vietnamese agricultural products and fruits, with assurances given that Vietnam will strictly follow Covid-19 guidelines on import-export activities.

In response, Premier Li acknowledged PM Chinh’s proposal, saying upon hearing the report he has directed relevant Chinese agencies to address the issue and the situation has now been improved.

He suggested that the two sides set up a joint working group to resolve this issue and create conditions in which Vietnamese agricultural products and fruits can further make inroads into China, whilst simultaneously maintaining smooth trade exchanges between the two countries.

The two PMs reviewed the development of joint ties over the past year and exchanged practical measures to strengthen and expand comprehensive co-operation.

PM Chinh went on to emphasise that the Vietnamese Party and State prioritise consolidating and developing the traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic co-operation partnership that exists between the two counties.

Vietnam Urges China to Accelerate Market Opening for Vietnamese Agricultural Products
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh talked over the phone with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on January 13, on the occasion of the 72nd founding anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (January 18, 1950 - 2022). Photo: VNA

The healthy and efficient development of bilateral relations is of great significance to the stability and development of each country, whilst it is also beneficial to maintaining peace, stability, co-operation, and development in the region and the world at large, he noted.

Chinh said Vietnam, after having carried out the Doi Moi (Renewal) process for 35 years, will continue to build, supplement, and perfect the theory of socialism and its path to socialism.

Premier Li lauded the important achievements Vietnam has recorded in its Covid-19 control and economic recovery efforts, affirming that the Chinese Party, State, and people attach great importance to relations with Vietnam. He stressed that China highly appreciates and steadfastly supports the Vietnamese socialist path which is most suitable to its situation.

The two PMs shared the view that despite the damaging impact of the Covid-19 outbreak last year, both countries regularly maintained high-level exchanges, including two phone talks by the two countries’ top Party leaders.

Two-way trade between the two sides hit a record high of more than US$160 billion. Co-operation in Covid-19 prevention and control represented a bright spot in bilateral relations.

With regard to border and territory issues, PM Chinh suggested the two sides continue could come together to implement their three legal documents on land border and make good use of negotiation mechanisms in order to maintain peace and stability in the Bien Dong Sea (South China Sea), and properly handle maritime issues in line with their top leaders’ common consensus and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

He also proposed that both sides actively seek to promote negotiations to build and swiftly finalise a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) in substance, in accordance with international law.

Premier Li expressed his desire to promote the negotiation mechanisms at sea between the two countries to soon achieve substantive progress. He affirmed that China is ready to join Vietnam and other ASEAN countries in continuing efforts to conclude the COC in a timely manner.

PM orders establishment of working group to tackle goods congestion

Vietnam Urges China to Accelerate Market Opening for Vietnamese Agricultural Products
The working group, headed by a Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, will coordinate with the Chinese side to deal with the congestion of goods at border gates between the two nations. Photo: VnExpress

According to VietnamPlus, right after the talks, PM Chinh asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to work with relevant ministries, agencies and seven provinces bordering China to quickly set up a working group to address the congestion of goods at border gates.

The working group, headed by a Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, will coordinate with the Chinese side to deal with the congestion of goods at border gates between the two nations, improve the efficiency of customs clearance and goods circulation, and maintain smooth bilateral trade, especially during the Lunar New Year, while ensuring pandemic control in an effective, scientific and safe manner.

The PM's Office conveyed the direction to related ministries and the People's Committees of Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Lang Son and Quang Ninh provinces.

China reopens Hekou International Border Gate

A container truck passes through the Hekou-Kim Thanh II International Border Gate. (Photo: VNA)
A container truck passes through the Hekou-Kim Thanh II International Border Gate. Photo: VNA

Chinese authority on January 12 re-opened its Hekou International Border Gate – which pairs with Vietnam's Kim Thanh II border gate in the northern province of Lao Cai – for imported fresh fruits, including dragon fruit, and frozen foods from Vietnam, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The move is expected to reduce congestion at the shared border gates between the two countries in Lang Son and Quang Ninh after China has suspended imports of Vietnamese dragon fruits via Youyi Guan border gate (Huu Nghi border gate in Vietnam) and Pu Zhai (Tan Thanh of Vietnam) since December 29, 2021.

Data of the General Department of Vietnam Customs shows that nearly 35 percent of Vietnamese dragon fruit exports to China went through border gates in Lao Cai.

However, the Chinese side has warned of a decrease in loading capacity at Hekou Border Gate as many workers there had left for Lunar New Year holiday. It has also advised the Vietnamese side to strictly observe Covid-19 control rules and proactively regulate shipments of goods through border gates to prevent congestion.

China has halted imports of Vietnamese fresh fruits via Hekou Border Gate since July 18, 2021 after coronavirus was found on packaging of dragon fruits shipped from Vietnam./.

The lift of the ban resulted from multiple efforts made by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Vietnamese localities to work with the China side on the issue since then./.

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