The Economic Committee of the National Assembly on January 7 hosted a meeting to map out measures to prevent cross-border smuggling, thus helping reduce counterfeit goods and ensure food safety in the coming time.

The meeting, which was broadcast on radio and television, saw the participation of representatives from many relevant ministries, sectors and localities.

Speaking at the meeting, Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said the smuggling situation in the country still remains complicated. Therefore, many kinds of counterfeit and unhygienic goods slipped into the Vietnamese market through border areas.

Since 2010, market management forces settled 828,488 cases of smuggling, fake goods and trade fraud. Illegally trafficked products included firecrackers, wild animals, wood and beverages.

Representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) urg ed trade associations to join in the fight, saying that it is necessary to improve competitiveness, while protecting and developing the trademark of Vietnamese goods to cope with the situation.

Relevant agencies should build specific policies for border regions to create jobs for people in those areas, helping improve their living conditions so they will not get involved in smuggling activities.

The MoIT is working with relevant ministries and sectors to build and submit a national programme on smuggling counterfeit goods and trade fraud prevention from now to 2020 to the Government. The programme is expected to serve as an important base for countering smuggling.

In the project, the ministry suggested to recruit 1,000 more market management officials to work in key areas. At present, the whole country has only 5,200 market managers, or just 100 people for each locality.

Participants said that the smuggling situation weakens the country’s economy and reduces the confidence of enterprises.

Agreeing with the opinions, Hoang said it is necessary to further enhance reconnaissance to detect trafficking rings, and strictly penalise traffickers in the time to come.

In her concluding speech at the meeting, National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan stressed the need to modify and supplement policies to promote the production of goods of domestic enterprises, thus improving competitiveness of local commodities.

She also urged ministries, sectors and local authorities to enhance their direction and responsibility in the prevention of smuggling, fake goods and trade fraud.-VNA