Measures sought to promote Vietnam – Lao border trade hinh anh 1Trucks pass the Lao Bao International Border Gate in central Quang Tri province, which borders Laos (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Industry and Trade continues implementing a master plan to develop the Vietnam – Laos border market network by 2020, while developing a master plan for border trade between the two countries to 2025, with a vision through 2035 as part of efforts to boost bilateral trade.

Besides, Vietnam and Laos will make proposals to each other’s Government on establishing and upgrading border gates and economic cooperation zones along the shared border.

By the end of this year, the two sides will implement the new trade agreement and the border trade agreement while making a plan for the Vietnam – Laos trade development from 2017 – 2026.

Measures will be sought to raise two-way trade value by 10 percent from 2016.

Delegation exchanges and business connections will be strengthened between the two nations to promote trade in border provinces.

Publicity campaigns will also be conducted to lure domestic and international resources for projects on border trade development, contributing to poverty reduction, and improving border residents’ living conditions.

According to experts, incentives should be devised to encourage different economic sectors to participate in border trade.

Vietnam and Laos share eight international border gates, seven key border gates, and 18 small border gates. Nine border-gate economic zones have been established, facilitating trade and service development between the two nations’ border localities.

According to the Ministry’s Asia – Pacific Market Development Department, Vietnam – Laos border trade has seen remarkable expansion.

Investment in infrastructure facilities has been increased in the border gates, while efforts have been made by localities to fight smuggling, trade fraud and other crimes.

According to the Ministry’s Import-Export Department, in 2016, two-way trade value between Vietnam and Laos reached 801 million USD. Vietnam imported 342 million USD worth of goods from Laos and shipped 459 million USD worth of goods to the neighbouring country.

Vietnam’s major exports are aquatic products, footwear, garment-textile and materials, steel and steel products, coal, oil and gas, fertilizer, equipment, electric wire cable and machines.

Meanwhile, Laos’ major exports to Vietnam are timber and wood products, metals, ore, and tobacco sub-products.

According to the Vietnam Trade Office in Laos, Vietnam ranked third among investors in Laos, with investment hitting 5.1 billion USD so far.-VNA