Facilitating the development of cross – border trade

Thursday - 21/06/2018 21:04
Recently, the cross – border trade of Quang Tri Province has encountered many difficulties, especially the considerably decline in commercial activities of traders, residents and markets along the border. This cause has affected significantly to the development of the local trade.
According to the report of the Provincial Border Trade Steering Committee, in the first six months of 2016, the cross - border trade between Quang Tri and Savannakhet and Salavan Provinces (Lao PDR) declined compared to the same period last year. The main reason is the low export competitiveness of enterprises of the Province in particular and of other Provinces in the region in general to the markets of Laos and Thailand. The major import commodity through the border gate to Quang Tri is timber but the Laos Government does not advocate for exporting round logs, lumber and wood panels.
In addition, Vietnamese products in the market of Laos have low competitiveness, the price of some agricultural products and industrial products such as coffee, rubber, bananas have reduced. Facing this situation, the Provincial People's Committee has focused on directing departments, branches and localities to actively remove difficulties for enterprises, create favorable conditions for border residents and traders to stabilize their production and enhance cross-border trade; directing the provincial branches and functional forces to facilitate commodity trading activities of traders, intensify the fight against smuggling and trade frauds as well as stabilize the market.
Statistic shows that the total import and export turnover through the border gates in the first 6 months of 2016 reached 82,466,881.28 USD, 63.486.995.02 USD lower (equivalent to 43.5%) than that of the same period in previous year. Major export products are consumer commodities, general merchandise and construction materials. Main import products are wood products (stopped importing since May, 2016), coffee, rubber, plaster…
There were 374,167 passengers entering and leaving the Province in the first 6 months of 2016, increased 9,526 passengers compared with the first 6 months of 2015. As for transport means, there were 49,398 arrivals through the International Border Gates of Lao Bao and La Lay, 5,816 arrivals higher than that of the same period in 2015. The trading activities of border residents are mainly exchanging and purchasing goods in the border markets, on a small scale and of a simple nature.
In the first 6 months of 2016, the provincial cross - border trade fell into decline due to the reduction in prices of some agricultural commodities, leading to the decrease in commercial activities of border residents and traders. The volume of goods traded by residents and traders of the two countries Vietnam and Laos as well as between the Provinces of Quang Tri, Savannakhet and Salavan is mainly through the International Border Gates of Lao Bao and La Lay. The number of commodities traded through the border gates is still very limited, most of them are essential commodities for daily living. The major goods from Vietnam to Laos are instant noodles, sweeteners, soaps, rice, salt... The main products from Laos to Vietnam are cassava, coffee, bamboo shoots, bananas and some other products harvested from natural forests.
The purchasing power of border residents increased slowly. It is worth mentioning that the number of tourists visiting the Lao Bao Special Economic - Commercial Area decreased sharply leading to the decline in shopping, having significant negative impacts on the commercial activities of the Province. Some border residents and traders are still importing and exporting on a small scale, so the turnover of goods traded by border residents and traders through the Lao Bao and La Lay International Border Gates as well as through auxiliary border gates has not been aggregated accurately due to the lack of specialized management and monitoring forces. On the other hand, because of the high tax rates of Laos on some Vietnam products, residents often declare names, quantities and value of commodities inaccurately.
In addition, the trading activities of markets in the border areas, mountainous areas and remote areas are facing many difficulties due to the low purchasing power of local people. The number of visitors has also declined sharply, partly because of the marine environment incident. Smuggling and trade frauds along the Vietnam - Laos border and in the Lao Bao International Border Area still exists. Violators take advantage of the export mechanisms of tax refund for domestic goods to Laos and of exporting foreign goods to Laos such as foreign wine, Heineken beer, Ensure milk... then smuggle them back to Vietnam for consumption. Commodities smuggling from Laos to Vietnam takes place mainly in the Sepon River. The smuggled goods into the inland are mainly foreign cigarettes, foreign wine, beer, soft drinks, glutinous rice, white sugar, monosodium glutamate, Ensure milk... In the areas of Vietnam – Laos border and La Lay International Border Gate, the number of entry and exit of means tended to increase compared to the same period last year. In the first 6 months of 2016, functional forces have examined, detected, arrested and handled 1,583 violations, including 767 cases of trading and transporting prohibited and smuggled items, 804 cases of trade frauds, 12 cases of counterfeit goods. Total value of infringing goods was 24,447.724 million VND; of handling administrative violations and collecting tax arrears was 24,121,513 million VND. The total value of infringing goods and handling administrative violations was 48,569,237 million VND.
For the safety and effectiveness of the cross – border trading activities in the coming time, the units and functional forces should reform administrative procedures and create favorable conditions for the import and export activities of traders as well as for trading activities of border residents; effectively apply the E-customs clearance system and the national single - window mechanism (abbreviated as VNACCS/VCIS system) in the implementation of customs procedures and customs management, supervision and control.
The ministries and functional agencies should care about investment capital for the construction of markets in rural, border and remote areas in the 2016 - 2020 period; Adopt mechanisms to encourage and create favorable conditions for traders to conduct business activities; Organize the commodities purchase and sale network serving the production demands and people’s living in the border regions; Continue to call for investment in the infrastructure of La Lay International Border Gate and of the planning areas in order to facilitate the export of goods, services and tourism of Vietnam and Laos; Enhance the cooperation and exchange of information on investment, labor, preferential policies, advertising, investment promotion; Develop tourism trade to the border Provinces of Laos; Coordinate to exploit effectively the potential and advantages of the East - West Economic Corridor; Encourage and create favorable conditions for enterprises of Quang Tri Province to boost investment cooperation in production in Savannakhet and Salavan Provinces; Continue to implement the program of Bringing Vietnamese goods to mountainous and remote areas, implement effectively the campaign "Vietnamese people prioritize using made – in - Vietnam goods"; Encourage and create favorable conditions for traders to invest in the construction of shops, stalls and points of purchase in border communes.

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