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The Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development organized the fieldtrip in Lang Son province from June 12 to June 17, 2023

To implement the regional joint-research: "Market access of agricultural commodity from Mekong sub-region countries to China" under the NARDT project, the research team of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development conducted the fieldtrip in Lang Son province from June 12 to June 17, 2023.

According to the leaders of the Department of Industry and Trade of Lang Son province, the border gates of the province play an integral and strategic role in trade between Vietnam and China in particular and ASEAN and China in general. Lang Son province is an important gateway for goods from ASEAN countries to access the Chinese market.

Agricultural export achieved positive results

According to the Provincial Customs Department of Lang Son province, China has lifted COVID-19 epidemic control measures and resumed trade between the two sides since January 2023. Lang Son and Guangxi provinces have repeatedly organized delegations to visit and work directly, thereby contributing to strengthening and promoting cooperation between the border provinces of Vietnam and China. Import and export activities are maintained smoothly and stably at 5 border gates (including Huu Nghi international border gate, Dong Dang international railway station, Chi Ma bilateral border gate, Tan Thanh and Coc Nam border gates) in the first 6 months of 2023.

Picture 1: Working with the Department of Industry and Trade of Lang Son province

The meeting at the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) of Lang Son province showed that the import and export of goods between Vietnam and China through Lang Son border gates has been taking place smoothly and increasingly. As of June 15, 2023, the export value of agricultural products and fruits through Lang Son province reached more than 1.6 billion USD. Some key export products to China include: Dragon fruit: nearly 500,000 tons, equivalent to 260 million USD; Durian: 283,000 tons, equivalent to over 620 million USD; Jackfruit: 280,000 tons ~ 150 million USD; Cassava starch: over 450,000 tons ~ nearly 300 million USD; Passion fruit: nearly 1,000 tons ~ 30 million USDl; Lychee: over 32,000 tons ~ over 18 million USD.

The main method of export through international border gates is official export.There is almost no trade exchange between border residents at the border market pairs between Vietnam and China since Covid-19 pandemic. The government's preferential export tax policy and Lang Son's own trade mechanisms have contributed to promoting the export of agricultural products. The province is also urgently implementing infrastructure projects to best meet the needs of trade, such as the Huu Nghi-Chi Lang border gate expressway project. In addition, trade promotion activities are regularly held with the neighboring Guangxi province (China)..

Customs clearance and quarantine activities are basically convenient with 100% of registered document processed online in 2023. Enterprises at the border gate and drivers directly benefit from this process. Mr. Tran Luom, a driver transporting dragon fruit from Khanh Hoa to Lang Son border gate for export to China, said: “E-customs clearance is quick, helping me to shorten the transportation time, thereby increasing the frequency of transportation in a month and improving my income.”

There are still difficulties ahead

Despite achieving positive results, there are still some objective and subjective issues that need to be noted in agricultural export activities.

Objectively, after the opening of the Vientiane (Laos)-Kunming (China) railway, Lao, Cambodian and Thai goods will have more favorable access to the Chinese market, creating great competitiveness for Vietnam’s agricultural export. In addition, China's market demands are becoming more and more demanding, requiring transparency and clarity in the origin of Vietnam’s agricultural products, especially the requirements from China's Orders No. 248 and 249 recently.

In addition, the clearance capacity and infrastructure for trade in Lang Son have not yet been fully developed, and there is still congestion during the peak harvest season of agricultural products. In addition, only a few Vietnamese export enterprises can grasp the market information of China, and many enterprises are still relatively passive in the face of changes in policies and mechanisms related to import and export goods. The situation of smuggling, trade fraud, and counterfeiting of goods origin is increasingly sophisticated.

The potential for agricultural exports is still great

According to estimates by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Lang Son province, more than 70% of agricultural products exported from Vietnam to China go through border gates of Lang Son province, but the market potential still high when China is a biggest market with high population. In addition, Guangxi province plays an important role in the process of processing agricultural products and transshipping them to other localities in China, so the export potential is still very large.

The Lang Son province also has a number of potential agricultural products for export to Chinese market such as: custard apple, passion fruit, black jelly, and other spices (chili, cinnamon, anise), etc.

Piture 2: Working session with leaders of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Lang Son province