A talk on trade and economic cooperation between Lao Cai and Yunnan provinces takes place on November 10 (Photo: VNA)
 
Lao Cai (VNA) – Northern Lao Cai province and its Chinese neighbor, Yunnan province, will soon open extra temporary border gates and cross-border roads in an attempt to boost the two-way trade and facilitate travel of their people.

The information was revealed at a talk on trade and economic cooperation between the two provinces on November 10 held within the framework of the 17th Vietnam-China International Trade Fair which is underway in Lao Cai from November 10-15.

The Vietnam-China trade via the Lao Cai/Hekou border gate reached over 1 billion USD in 2016 with export from Vietnam estimated at 462 million USD while imports worth 637 million USD. The bilateral trade hit 1.3 billion USD in the first 10 months of 2017, a year-on-year increase of 43 percent.

More Chinese investors have come to Lao Cai to seek business opportunities. The province is so far home to 15 Chinese FDI projects with the total registered investment of 400 million USD.

However, the two sides agreed that the trade via the Lao Cai/Hekou gate is still below potential as it only accounted for 1.6 percent of the total trade between the two countries in 2015 and 1.52 percent last year, much lower than that via border gates in Quang Ninh and Lang Son provinces. The difference in rail gauge between the two countries was believed to be the main barrier to the trade.

The provinces were advised to improve infrastructure at their border gates and simplify customs clearance to facilitate the bilateral trade. They will also propose ministries to broaden the list of goods permitted to be transported across the border by trucks.

On the same day, Lao Cai province and China’s Honghe prefecture also co-held a conference to promote trade between Vietnam and China as part of this year’s Vietnam-China International Trade Fair, bringing together representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Trade and tourism promotion agencies from 19 cities and provinces across Vietnam alongside over 100 enterprises from both sides.

At the conference, Lao Cai invited investment to four projects, including the Bac Ha resort, worth 350 billion VND (15.4 million USD), and a 26.4 million USD hi-tech agricultural project in Lung Phinh commune, Bac Ha district.

The event saw signing of numerous deals between businesses from the two sides in e-commerce, logistics, agriculture, tourism, chemicals and more.-VNA