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Guangxi city bordering Vietnam enjoys booming foreign trade volume

By Zhang Li in Nanning and Shi Ruipeng in Pingxiang, Guangxi | China Daily | Updated: 2018-12-06 10:27
Friendship Pass, a border port in Pingxiang, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, links China with Vietnam. [Photo/IC]

The foreign trade volume of Pingxiang, a city bordering Vietnam, rose 10.6 percent year-on-year to 34.2 billion yuan ($4.98 billion) in the first half of 2018 thanks to its advantageous location and a series of favorable policies.

Situated in South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Pingxiang shares a land border with Vietnam, called the Friendship Pass.

Wang Fanghong, Party secretary of Pingxiang, said: "We are accelerating infrastructure construction to further connect the land border between Pingxiang and Vietnam. Since the Friendship Pass border port - one of our three dedicated freight corridors - was completed in 2017, the number of vehicles passing through the frontier increased from 800 to 1,200 per day."

He added that customs procedures now only take around two minutes, compared to 20 minutes in the past, while paperless customs declarations can be completed within 20 seconds.

Border trade in Pingxiang totaled 21.2 billion yuan in the first half of 2018, accounting for 20.23 percent of that of the nation's total.

Hoang Thi Shi, whose home in Vietnam is 40 kilometers from the Friendship Pass border port, now works for a Chinese company based in Pingxiang.

She pointed out that while she could only earn around 1,000 yuan per month in Vietnam for working more than 12 hours per day, she now receives 3,000 yuan monthly, plus boarding and lodging, for an eight-hour day.

The 26-year-old can renew her visa every month at the Pingxiang cross-border labor service center, which was set up to facilitate labor cooperation in 2017.

According to the service center, 121,000 Vietnamese had been registered and got permission to work in Pingxiang by the end of October.

"There are 120 Vietnamese workers like Hoang Thi Shi in my company. I am glad to save labor costs and they are eager to work here," said He Jiangtao, general manager of a Chinese panel company.

According to Wang Fanghong, the local authorities are seeking to extend the entry visa for Vietnamese workers to six months in order to attract more businesses to the city.

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