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Trade Volume Picking Up at China-Vietnam Border Crossing

December 18, 2022

International trade volume between Pingxiang City in China’s Guangxi region and Dong Dang Town in Vietnam’s Lang Son province rose in the first week of December, according to Vietnamese media reports. The increase in truck and rail traffic at one of the key border crossings between China and Vietnam is a hopeful sign for traders who have been battered by China’s Covid-related border closures and other restrictions in recent years.

Hoang Khanh Duy, deputy head of Lang Son province’s Dong Dang Economic Zone Management Committee, said the value of exports going through Lang Son’s ports during the first week of December reached $35 million, 21% more than the previous week, with rail volume up sharply.

In addition to the increase in rail volume, the committee’s statistics show that truck traffic also increased slightly. The number of trucks passing through the Friendship Pass border gate in the first week of December increased by 1.1% compared to the previous week, averaging a total of about 452 vehicles per day in both directions. At the Tan Thanh-Puzhai border gate pairing, the total number of trucks passing from Vietnam to China and vice-versa increased by 1.6% on average to about 362 vehicles/day.

Smaller border gates saw even larger increases. The number of trucks passing through the Chi Ma-Aidian border gates was up nearly 30% from the previous week to an average of about 55 per day. About 22 trucks passed through the Coc Nam-Nonghuai border gates, which was more than triple the previous week.

Further west, in Vietnam’s Lao Cai province, at the major border crossing between Vietnam and China’s Yunnan province, representatives of the Lao Cai Province Economic Zone Management Committee said that the number of trucks passing through the gates in Lao Cai Province remained stable at about 300 each day, most of them transporting agricultural products.

Despite China having scrapped most domestic epidemic control restrictions, the truck freight export procedure at Lao Cai is still subject to border controls that China put in place over the past few years as it pursued its “zero COVID” policies. Vietnamese drivers cannot enter China. Instead, the drivers take their trucks to a transshipment area and Chinese drivers then drive them across the border and into Chinese territory. 

The Vietnamese fruit industry depends to a large extent on China’s export market, which it mostly accesses through overland ports of entry such as those at Dong Dang-Pingxiang. It has been battered during the pandemic by border crossing closures and other controls that have slowed or stopped the flow of trucks across the border—leaving queues of thousands of trucks laden with fresh fruit lined up for weeks waiting to cross.

While incidences of severe border congestion have continued to surface, several closed border crossings have resumed operations this year. The customs situation is set to improve further in 2023, with China expected to eventually follow up its recent loosening of domestic controls with reductions in its international border controls.

Image: Department of Commerce of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

This article was based on a Chinese article. Read the original article.

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