Business / Economy

Border trade booms along southwestern Chinese border

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-06-16 14:54

KUNMING - Border trade has been booming along the Chinese border with Vietnam, after intense government support to improve customs clearing processes, officials said during the China-South Asia Expo in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan province.

In 2015, Yunnan registered 10.5 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in mutual trade among its border residents in 2015, up by 32.9 percent year on year. More than 4.7 million tons of fruit, seafood, cement, floor tiles and other commodities were traded, said Yang Ming, deputy director of clearance at Kunming Customs.

"More than 87 percent of the customs clearance is done through our electronic system without the need to file any paper documents, which has really boosted efficiency," he said.

Hekou County, along the China-Vietnam border, has one of the busiest ports for trade. Three years ago, border residents had to queue to file their trade documents with the customs. Now the clearing is done with zip cards and fingerprints.

"Very few people were doing trade just three years ago. Filing paperwork used to take about a day, now it takes less than an hour," said Deng Xing, a border resident in Nanxi township in Hekou.

Hekou Port now uses an electronic system, developed by the customs office, to register all import-related details. Inspection and clearing have also become much more efficient, said Deng.

Faster, smooth and convenient trade has resulted in a boom of new logistics and transport companies in Yunnan. In Dehong prefecture alone, the number of companies in foreign trade grew by 15.2 percent year on year to reach 1,125 in 2015. The figure is more than five times the number in 2011, according to the local statistics bureau.

On the other side, similar measures have also been taken to facilitate trade, said Dang Xuan Phong, chairman of LaoCai Province People's Committee in Vietnam.

"We have upgraded equipment, improved checking and inspection, and simplified administrative measures," he said, adding "we plan to further share information with the Chinese side and enhance our trade ties."

"Yunnan will continue to improve infrastructure and services to boost trade with its neighbors. We have much more to do in cooperation in customs clearing, logistics, entry and exit of the people," said Liu Jing, deputy director of the provincial commerce department.

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