China-ASEAN Monitor: Myanmar, China reopen trade routes for fruit exports
Economy, Investment and Trade
Myanmar, China reopen trade routes for fruit exports
(1 June 2020) The Lweje and Kampaiti borders have been reopened for export, after they were temporarily closed to contain the spread of COVID-19, according to Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce. Previously, the export of watermelon, muskmelon, mango and plum to China was only allowed through the Muse border. A local daily reported that Myanmar’s mangosteen, rambutan, lychee, watermelon, muskmelon, mango and plum have been cleared for import by China’s food safety inspection mechanism, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ). China accounts for 95% of Myanmar’s fruit exports. High-security measures at China’s border areas due to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused a long queue at border areas, causing huge losses to fruit growers. China-Myanmar border trade at all five borders fell to US$3.75 billion from US$3.9 billion a year ago.
Vietnam permits over 300 Chinese traders entry to buy lychees
(1 June 2020) Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has allowed Chinese traders to enter Vietnam to buy lychees in the northern province of Bac Giang, a lychee growing hub. Three hundred and nine Chinese traders are expected to enter Vietnam in June and be tested for COVID-19 during a 14-day quarantine period, according to the chairman of Luc Ngan District in Bac Giang, La Van Nam. The traders will be required to show COVID-19 negative certificates issued by competent Chinese authorities. Upon arrival in Vietnam, they will be quarantined. Following that, those who test negative will be granted a certificate stating they are virus-free and permitted to interact with local farmers. Vietnam has not allowed entry for foreign nationals except those with diplomatic and official passports and business managers, experts and high-skilled workers since 22 March.
Singapore, China to launch “fast lane” arrangement for essential travel
(29 May 2020) Singapore and China have agreed to launch a “fast lane” arrangement in early June for essential travel related to business and official purposes, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement released on 29 May. The arrangement will be applied between Singapore and six Chinese provinces or municipalities directly under the central government (Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang). COVID-19 preventive and control measures will be part of the arrangement. The MFA said the arrangement will be gradually expanded to other Chinese cities and both sides have agreed to explore the increase in air links between the two countries under the “fast lane.”
China garment giant expands in Cambodia’s Special Economic Zone
(31 May 2020) The Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) has signed a lease agreement on 29 May for additional land with China’s Marvel Garment Co Ltd. PPSP is the company behind the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (PPSEZ), a 357ha industrial park in Kambol district’s Kantaok commune on the outskirts of the capital. A leading knitwear manufacturer, Marvel Garment is the local arm of Chinese clothing manufacturer Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd. According to Marvel Garment general manager Yan Delin, the transaction involves the lease of 6.4ha of land. The PPSEZ registered US$1.1 billion in trade volume in 2019, up 14% from 2018. Government data showed that Cambodia exported US$2.7 billion worth of goods through special economic zones in 2019, up 27% from 2018.
Chinese locomotive maker in Malaysia keeps up production despite COVID-19 outbreak
(2 June 2020) Chinese rail transit equipment manufacturer CRRC in Batu Gajah, Malaysia has continued to produce and conduct field testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Wang Xinyu from CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co Ltd. (CRRC ZELC), field testing had been suspended for two months and only resumed on 12 May. He was assigned to CRRC’s rolling stock centre in Malaysia in February 2019 to lead the after-sale service team of the ETS2 Project. Employees at CRRC’s rolling stock centre have been working day and night to make up for lost time. Various functionalities and parts of the train would be checked during the day while field testing was conducted at night. The ETS trains manufactured by CRRC have been running between the capital city of Kuala Lumpur and the northern border town of Padang Besar since 2015, carrying more than 10,000 daily passengers.