China-ASEAN Monitor: Vietnam and China held virtual conference to discuss boosting Vietnamese agro-food exports to China
Economy, Investment and Trade
Vietnam and China held virtual conference to discuss boosting Vietnamese agro-food exports to China
(27 May 2020) Vietnamese and Chinese trade promotion authorities held a joint virtual conference to discuss measures to boost Vietnamese agro-food exports to China, particularly the latter’s Yunnan province. The conference saw the attendance of 23 Vietnamese enterprises. The Director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency noted that while trade between Vietnam and Yunnan province had seen positive results, it has yet to meet its potential. Although both Vietnam and China have essentially contained their coronavirus outbreaks, trade activities between both countries have yet to return to normal.
Vietnam to intensify checks on Chinese shrimp exports due to DIV1 virus fears for shrimps
(25 May 2020) Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture has called for tighter checks on the exports of shrimp broodstock, shrimp post-larvae and aquaculture feed from China due to fears of an outbreak of decapod iridescent virus 1 (DIV1) in shrimp in China. Vietnams’ anti-smuggling and trade fraud authority, as well as the northern provinces, have been tasked with intensifying border checks and inspections of the products from China. It is believed that DIV1 has caused massive losses in China, with an outbreak reported in South China in April 2020. This year’s outbreak is reportedly worse than in previous years.
Cambodian and Myanmar tourism industry eyeing the return of Chinese tourists post-pandemic
(21 May 2020) Tourist operators in Cambodia and Myanmar are looking to recapture the Chinese market one international travel is allowed again. At the latest meeting of the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group, Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism stated that the ministry had been holding virtual meetings with Chinese tour group operators to discuss receiving Chinese travellers post-pandemic. In 2019, a total of 344,268 Chinese arrivals visited Myanmar, a 75% year-on-year increase. Cambodia, for their part, stated they will continue to promote their five-year ‘China Ready’ plan to attract more Chinese tourists. In 2019 more than 2 million Chinese arrivals visited Cambodia, a 16.7% year-on-year increase.
Myanmar and Chinese authorities to look into restrictions of border trade
(27 May 2020) Myanmar and Chinese authorities will be initiating ‘field visits’ to look into restrictions of border trade between both countries, which is reportedly causing losses for traders. Myanmar’s ambassador to China has stated they will look to resolve this issue by meeting with the relevant government departments. At present, three border trade posts are open for trade operations on the Sino-Myanmar border, but Chinese laws preventing Myanmar drivers from entering the country causes delays in trade activities and difficulties in the flow of goods into China. The Myanmar side is calling for China to increase the number of Chinese drivers to replace Myanmar drivers at the entry ports. Before the COVID19 outbreak, about 700 cargo vehicles crossed the border daily, but now this has been reduced to about 200 vehicles daily.
Construction of 15.2 kilometer tunnel on China-Laos railway completed on 25 May 2020
(25 May 2020) Construction of the 15.2 kilometre tunnel on the Kunming-Vientiane Railway which will link Laos with China was completed on 25 May 2020. The Ganzhuang tunnel is located in the southwest of China’s Yunnan province, and is the first high-risk tunnel to be built along the railway line. The tunnel goes through eight geological faults with complicated geological conditions such as the deformation of soft rocks and noxious gasses. Construction on the tunnel started in 2016, and the entire railway line is expected to be operational by end-2021.