Farm produce exports through Lao Cai clearedUpdate: 9/29/2014
(VEN) - The export of agricultural products through border crossings in Lao Cai Province are facing a number of difficulties despite the efforts made by the local authorities and relevant authorized agencies to facilitate the export businesses.
According to statistics of the Customs Department of Lao Cai International Border Crossing, the export revenue through border crossings in the province in August was estimated at US$44.9 million, down 53 percent compared with the previous month (estimated at US$110.1 million).
The leader of Lao Cai Department of Industry and Trade said agricultural products exported to China (sugar, rubber, rice, coffee, bananas and dragon fruits) are meeting with many difficulties and some major exports have signs of sharp decrease. For example, in August 2014, the rice and sugar export revenues fell about 47 percent and 23.5 percent respectively compared with July. The reason was China tightened management over exports through border crossings. The infrastructure at the border crossings still have many limitations, resulting in overloads, limited goods clearance capabilities, loose connection and unhealthy competition in goods exchanges among enterprises.
In addition, the declining export revenue was also due to payment challenges. Deputy Head of the Lao Cai International Border Crossing Customs Office said at present the Chinese partners owe Vietnamese enterprises a large sum of money. For example, they still owe a cassava exporter dozens of billions of dong. As financial capabilities of Vietnamese enterprises are limited, it will be difficult for them to continue exporting goods if the Chinese partners keep paying slowly. Meanwhile, the export of some other agricultural products like litchis, bananas and dragon fruits has also dropped as China now could produce these fruits by themselves.
Prioritizing export of agricultural products
There were opinions that Lao Cai’s permission to some enterprises trading in temporary import for re-export via Ban Vuoc and Muong Khuong border crossings in June 2014 resulted in blocks and overloads. Therefore, on August 22, 2014, the Lao Cai People’s Committee decided to halt temporary import and re-export activities, helping ease the difficulties of export of agricultural products, especially sugar.
However, according to Vietnam Economic News’ reporters and feedbacks from the Lao Cai Industry and Trade sector and Customs Department, since the decision was issued, the export progress of agricultural products via Lao Cai remained slow.
It is expected that in the coming time, the province will adopt a mechanism to regulate export and re-export activities with priorities given to the export of agricultural products separately.
Along with repairing poor infrastructure, functional agencies will cooperation more closely with export businesses for better goods clearance and avoid blocks and overloads. The enterprises also have to exchange information with the functional agencies to know about the developments at border crossings, helping to ensure the export of agricultural products to run smoothly and also facilitate the enterprises trading in temporary import for re-export.
It is expected that in the coming time, the province will adopt a mechanism to regulate export and re-export activities with priorities given to the export of agricultural products separately. Along with repairing poor infrastructure, functional agencies will be on duty until 10-11pm to deal with necessary procedures for the export businesses./.
By Lan Ngoc & Quynh Nga