More ordinary Vietnamese benefit from enhanced Vietnam-China ties

Updated: 2013-10-14 17:01

HANOI - Nguyen Van Quang, a 28-year-old clerk of Hanoi Post Office, placed his pen and notepad in his shirt pocket, tucked his wallet, USB drive and a smart-phone in his jeans pockets, and put his helmet on before jumping on an electric bicycle, which he rides to work.

All the accessories, including the electric bike are made in China and Quang is proud of them.

"I used to buy Vietnamese goods but I found out that Chinese products are much more diversified in style, of good quality and relatively cheaper," Quang said.

He said that his made-in-China stuff include a ball-point pen, a leather wallet, an 8-GB flash drive, a pair of jeans, and an electric bicycle.

Quang said he used to drive a costly Japanese scooter but now resorts to an electric bicycle to cope with the high petrol prices in Vietnam.

"Now, electric bicycles, mostly imported from China with prices of 6-13 million VND ($300-650 USD), are selling like hot cakes in Hanoi,"  he said.

"Some office clerks use them to cut fuel costs, while more and more youths, mostly students, consider them a convenient means of transport, even a flashy style of driving," he noted.

Regarding the ongoing three-day official visit to Vietnam by Premier Li Keqiang, which lasts till Tuesday, he said he hopes the visit could bear fruits which can benefit the ordinary Vietnamese.

"I am confident that the two sides will settle outstanding issues, make their relations closer and closer, so that ordinary people like me can reap more practical benefits," Quang said.

Quang is just one of the many Vietnamese who are benefiting from the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and China, especially in investments and trade.

"Some ten years ago, we already used Chinese products, but mainly secondary items such as confectioneries, stationeries and video players. Now, many more Chinese products, including essential ones, are available, and more and more Vietnamese consumers are happy with the good quality of high-end electronic goods such as LED TVs and personal computers and others," Quang said.

Producers and traders as well as those in culture, education and tourism, have also benefited from the strong relations between Vietnam and China.

The Hanoi-based Vietnam National General Export - Import Joint Stock Company No 1 (GENERALEXIM) made total import-export turnovers of nearly $71.4 million in the first eight months of this year, with China as the key market.

Specifically, the company gained export turnovers of over $44.5 million, mainly from shipping abroad cassava, pepper, coffee, rice and cashew nuts, said its specialist Nguyen Thuy Chi.

"Vietnamese enterprises like our company export local products to the Chinese market, like dried sliced cassava for alcohol production. On top of that, Vietnamese companies also acquire new technologies and techniques from China by importing finished products such as pottery, enameled tiles, pharmaceuticals, seeds, cloth and pesticides," Chi said.

After graduating from the Chinese Department at the Hanoi University of Foreign Studies in 2003, Chi worked as a secretary or a director's assistant for some Chinese-invested companies in Vietnam, mainly enameled tile producers in Vinh Phuc Province.

"As a student, I studied Chinese because I want to know more about the Chinese culture, especially literature, film and music. After working with Chinese investors, I find it more and more exciting and lucrative to do business with Chinese partners," she said.

According to Chi, her business trips to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other Chinese cities have helped her find not only Chinese customers but also Chinese friends who have assisted her in having a deeper insight of Chinese literature, opera, calligraphy, kung fu, fengshui, and even the musical instrument xiao, a flute made of bamboo.

Vietnamese-Chinese cooperation has also benefited the movie industry. More and more Vietnamese are now interested in Chinese films, which have been highlighted due to stronger Vietnam-China culture exchanges in recent years.

According to the Vietnam Writers' Association Film Studio, thanks to the increased cultural ties between Vietnam and China, the two countries have not only exchanged more feature films and soup operas but also cooperated to jointly make movies such as "Nguyen Ai Quoc in Hong Kong," "Hanoi, Hanoi" and "Across Shanghai."



Youth encouraged to expand relations

Li raises proposals on China-Vietnam biz co-op

$100b trade target for 2017

Highlights: Premier Li Keqiang in Vietnam

Border traders watch Li's visit with close interest

Highlights: Premier Li Keqiang in Thailand