Vietnam should set up a border trade loan guarantee fund to provide preferential loan guarantee and training for commercial banks regarding small and micro business loans.

The recommendation was among 13 ones given by experts of the Enhancing Border Trade Services and Rules for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) project (ADB RETA 7380) at a seminar jointly held by ADB and the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Hanoi on April 4.

According to ADB experts, to create favorable conditions for SMEs operating in the Vietnam-China border area, Vietnamese agencies should design a cross-border trade programme which allows commercial banks and micro credit institutions to expand business lending at micro and small scales.

Besides, border trade information centres (BTICs) should be developed in Lang Son province and other important border areas to provide necessary information on financial products and business services to improve border trade enterprises’ operation.

Addressing the function, Head of the Mountainous Trade Department Hoang Minh Tuan said Vietnam-China border trade value has recently posted an annual growth rate of 26 percent, from 4.2 billion USD in 2006 to 10.4 billion USD in 2011.

However, the potential for expanding Vietnam-China border trade activities have not been fully tapped due to the lack of specific measures and policies, he said.

Additionally, border trade activities are limited as enterprises, especially the SMEs, have not received much support to conduct market research and trade promotion programmes and train human resource.

As a result, the ADB RETA 7380 project is expected to help strengthen trade border activities between Vietnam and China, contributing to boosting production, poverty reduction in Vietnam-China border mountainous regions.-VNA