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Vietnam, China trade ties
2015/07/15

HANOI, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam and China are gaining new impetus in economic relations, as evidenced by the continuous growth in bilateral trade revenue in the first half of 2015.

Statistics from Vietnam's General Statistics Office (GSO) released on Monday showed that China remained the largest trade partner of Vietnam in the first six months of 2015, with bilateral trade revenue reaching some 32.1 billion U.S. dollars.

During the six-month period, China continued to be the biggest supplier of commodities to Vietnam with around 24.4 billion U.S. dollars worth of products, up 23.9 percent year-on-year, said the GSO.

Specifically, according to Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), in the first five months of 2015, Vietnam's imports of commodities from China, such as fertilizer, vegetables and fruit, wood and its products saw increases ranging from 6.3 percent to 16.9 percent, among other items.

Regarding exports, during the six-month period, some 7.7 billion U.S. dollars worth of products were shipped from Vietnam to China, up 3.6 percent year-on-year, the GSO said in the June monthly report on its website.

Vietnam witnessed growth in exports of major farm products to China, including vegetables and fruit, up 23.98 percent, rubber, up 24.01 percent, cassava and its products, up 46.28 percent, compared to the same period a year earlier, the data showed.

China was the biggest importer of these Vietnamese products and the pair are joining to further enhance their bilateral trade ties and economic relations. In the Joint Communique issued between the two countries during the China trip of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong in April, the two sides reached a consensus on implementing the Master Plan on Vietnam-China Economic and Trade Cooperation for the 2012-2016 period and the portfolio of key cooperative projects and various economic and trade agreements.

The two sides agreed to boost two-way trade in a stable, balanced and sustainable fashion, while actively considering negotiations and the signing of the amended agreement on Vietnam- China border trade.

China encouraged domestic firms to expand the imports of Vietnamese competitive goods, reads the joint communique.

"The Chinese side backs its firms to invest in Vietnam and stands ready to offer Vietnamese businesses all possible support in extending market share. The Vietnamese side will give necessary conditions to Chinese firms to invest and do business in Vietnam," reads the Joint Communique.

Cumulatively, as of June 20, 2015, China ranked the ninth among countries and regions contributing foreign direct investment (FDI) to Vietnam with 1,141 projects worth 8.13 billion U.S. dollars, according to Vietnam's Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency.

Transport connectivity is among the factors facilitating bilateral trade and investment relations.

In the Joint Communique, the two sides agreed to discuss and swiftly decide an overall plan for building a cross-border economic cooperation area and promoting infrastructure connectivity projects. They also agreed to officially establish the Working Group on infrastructure cooperation.

In late 2014, Vietnam inaugurated its longest and most modernized expressway, with a total length of 245 km, connecting Vietnam's capital Hanoi to its Lao Cai province bordering China.

The Noi Bai-Lao Cai expressway is part of the China's Kunming- Vietnam's Hai Phong Transport Corridor and belongs to the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) cooperation program connecting Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and China.

In May 2015, the first two lanes of the last remaining segment of the Noi Bai-Lao Cai expressway from Lao Cai's Binh Minh ward to Kim Thanh international border gate with China opened to traffic.

The section helps connect the Noi Bai-Lao Cai expressway to China's Kunming-Hekou expressway.

In addition, the construction of a 63.8-km section of the Bac Giang-Lang Son expressway, which is a part of the 152-km Hanoi- Lang Son expressway, from Hanoi to Lang Son province's Huu Nghi border gate, was started in early July 2015.

Meanwhile, at the meeting with Vietnamese party chief Nguyen Phu Trong in Beijing in April, Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed Vietnam's participation in the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative.

The Vietnamese party chief said his country is studying the initiative, which is expected to boost trade along the way.

Nguyen Van Cac, a staff in a Vietnamese logistics company, which does a lot of business with its Chinese partners, said with better infrastructure connectivity, trade exchange will be further enhanced and companies will have expanded benefits.

"Vietnam and China are two neighboring countries. It will benefit both if the two countries join hands together. I hope the two countries will continue to cooperate with each other in all fields, including trade, investment, tourism and culture, among others," Nguyen Huong Thao, a 28-year-old office staff told Xinhua in Hanoi on Wednesday.

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