The information was revealed at a talk on trade and economic cooperation between the two provinces on November 10 held within the framework of the 17th Vietnam-China International Trade Fair which is underway in Lao Cai from November 10-15.
The Vietnam-China trade via the Lao Cai/Hekou border gate reached over US$1 billion in 2016 with export from Vietnam estimated at US$462 million while imports worth US$637 million. The bilateral trade hit US$1.3 billion in the first 10 months of 2017, a year-on-year increase of 43%.
|A talk on trade and economic cooperation between Lao Cai and Yunnan provinces takes place on November 10
More Chinese investors have come to Lao Cai to seek business opportunities. The province is so far home to 15 Chinese FDI projects with the total registered investment of US$400 million.
However, the two sides agreed that the trade via the Lao Cai/Hekou gate is still below potential as it only accounted for 1.6% of the total trade between the two countries in 2015 and 1.52% last year, much lower than that via border gates in Quang Ninh and Lang Son provinces. The difference in rail gauge between the two countries was believed to be the main barrier to the trade.
The provinces were advised to improve infrastructure at their border gates and simplify customs clearance to facilitate the bilateral trade. They will also propose ministries to broaden the list of goods permitted to be transported across the border by trucks.
On the same day, Lao Cai province and China’s Honghe prefecture also co-held a conference to promote trade between Vietnam and China as part of this year’s Vietnam-China International Trade Fair, bringing together representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Trade and tourism promotion agencies from 19 cities and provinces across Vietnam alongside over 100 enterprises from both sides.
At the conference, Lao Cai invited investment to four projects, including the Bac Ha resort, worth VND350 billion (US$15.4 million), and a US$26.4 million hi-tech agricultural project in Lung Phinh commune, Bac Ha district.
The event saw signing of numerous deals between businesses from the two sides in e-commerce, logistics, agriculture, tourism, chemicals and more.