Vietnam trade ministry asks China to reopen border gates

By Anh Minh   January 1, 2022 | 02:00 am PT
Vietnam trade ministry asks China to reopen border gates
Drivers check fruits quality near the border gate with China in Vietnam's Lang Son Province on December 16, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade has requested China's Guangxi region to reopen its border gates with Vietnam and extend customs clearance hours to resolve the container congestion.

Guangxi's "zero Covid" measures, including shutting the border and suspending the imports of certain fruits, were unnecessary, senior trade ministry officials told Guangxi trade officials Friday.

The policy has disrupted the supply chain and caused negative impacts on bilateral trade development, resulting in big losses for businesses and people of both countries, the Vietnamese officials said.

The ministry proposed that Guangxi recruits more drivers and workers on its side to deal with the staff shortage. It also suggested that fully vaccinated Vietnamese be sent across the border to work.

It wants Guangxi to facilitate shipment via trains and ships; as also resume importing Vietnamese dragon fruits.

Guangxi trade officials said that they would increase the duration of customs clearance based on the agreement between the local authorities of the border gates.

They will forward other proposals to higher authorities, Guangxi officials said.

Thousands of container trucks have been stuck at the border for over a month after China tightened its Covid-19 preventive measures.

On Friday 2,945 container trucks were stuck at the border in Vietnam’s Lang Son Province, down 191 from a day earlier.

Many trucks have had to turn around and distribute their produce locally for a loss as the fruits were beginning to rot.

Of the three major borders gates in Lang Son, two are operating with limited capacity while one is still shut.

Lang Son authorities estimate that it would take more than a month to resolve the container jam at current speed.

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien has sent four letters to the China’s Ministry of Commerce, China Customs and secretaries of the two localities - GuangXi and Yunnan - requesting the agencies’ intervention in resolving the issues.

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