Exports to China no longer subject to Covid testing

By Anh Minh   December 31, 2022 | 11:25 pm PT
Exports to China no longer subject to Covid testing
Containers stuck near the Vietnam-China border in Lang Son Province in December 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Vietnamese exports to China will no longer be subject to Covid testing from January 8th, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has announced.

The ministry urged localities and businesses to update goods clearance processes at border gates in order to streamline trade according to the new easing of restrictions.

The government has asked major agricultural producers and other exporters to coordinate with northern border province authorities to better facilitate the transport of exports -- especially fresh and frozen agricultural products – to China.

The northern neighbor had previously tightened quarantines to curb the spread of the Covid 19 pandemic, leading to congestion and the bottlenecking of Vietnamese exports at border gates in northern provinces, including Lao Cai, Lang Son and Quang Ninh.

On Dec. 26, China’s National Health Commission announced that it would downgrade it’s "Covid-19 response level," suspending mandatory isolation for passengers entering the country from January 8, 2023.

Michael Kokalari, chief economist at investment fund VinaCapital, said China’s reopening would have less of an impact on Vietnam’s economy than other Southeast Asian countries because Vietnam’s exposure to China’s domestic market was still modest.

The most important upcoming economic event for Vietnam is that the number of tourists is likely to return to normal in the second half of 2023, Kokalari said, adding that this will be a driving force behind Vietnam’s GDP growth for the year.

Vietnam’s GDP expanded 8.02% in 2022, the fastest pace annually since 1997, backed by strong domestic retail sales and exports. The country has targeted GDP growth of 6.5% in 2023.

Vietnam is China's biggest trade partner in Southeast Asia and sixth biggest globally.

China is Vietnam's biggest trade partner. Their bilateral trade topped US$165.8 billion in 2021, up 24.6% from 2020.

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