Vietnam, China look for ways to bolster trade hinh anh 1The 9th meeting of the Vietnam - China working group for economic and trade cooperation is held online on August 13 (Photo: Ministry of Industry and Trade)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam and China should extend the working hours for customs clearance at border gates and restore cross-border trade at markets along the border, Le Hoang Oanh, Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Asia-Africa Market Department, told an online meeting on August 13.

Oanh made the proposal during the 9th meeting of the Vietnam - China working group for economic and trade cooperation, which was held in the form of video conferencing for the first time.

The meeting is held annually within the framework of the two countries’ Economic and Trade Cooperation Committee to seek ways to resolve problems standing in the way of bilateral economic and trade relations.

Two-way trade maintained stable growth during the first seven months of this year despite COVID-19, while many issues mentioned at the 8th meeting have been solved. Of particular note, four more Vietnamese milk producers gained access to China, while three others Vietnamese companies regained permission to export fish powder. The two countries have also agreed to add the Dong Dang - Pingxiang railway border gates to the list of international border checkpoints where Vietnamese fruit can be exported to China.

Also head of the working group on the Vietnamese side, Oanh suggested China allow more border checkpoints to handle agricultural and aquatic products from Vietnam.

She urged the country to provide Vietnamese agricultural products with broader market access, and promote trade promotion activities using digital platforms, saying Vietnam wants to establish a trade promotion office in Chengdu city, Sichuan, in western China.

The Chinese side spoke highly of and agreed with Vietnam’s constructive proposals. China also asked Vietnam to support the entry of Chinese experts, investors and technicians into Vietnam.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam - China trade rose 4.79 percent year-on-year to 65.18 billion USD in the first seven months of this year, with Vietnam’s trade deficit falling 16.38 percent against the same period last year.

China remains Vietnam’s largest trade partner, while Vietnam has become China’s seventh-largest trade partner./.