The Lao Bao International Border Gate of Vietnam's Quang Tri province is situated on the shared borderline with Laos (Photo: VNA)
special Vietnam - Laos friendship has been growing unceasingly across the board
in the recent past, including in trade, which has been developing in an
increasingly substantive manner.
Vietnam’s Ministry of
Industry and Trade (MoIT) reported that bilateral trade has posted stable
growth between 2016 and 2020, reaching the target of over 1 billion USD per
Export and import have stayed
relatively balanced, with goods traded between the two countries diversified.
encountered certain difficulties in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,
but they have bounced back strongly since the beginning of 2021.
By the end of May, trade
turnover between Vietnam and Laos reached 570.7 million USD, up 39.3 percent
year on year and 16.7 percent from the same period of 2019, before the pandemic
That included 280.3 million
USD worth of Vietnamese exports and 290.4 million USD of imports from Laos, respectively
rising 23.5 percent and 58.9 percent from a year earlier, statistics show.
The figures were attributed
to the political resolve of the countries’ senior leaders and drastic moves by authorised
agencies to address obstacles and assist their businesses to quickly adapt to
the COVID-19 pandemic.
Experts forecast the trade
revenue will continue increasing in June but at a slower pace as the pandemic
has yet to be completely under control in both countries.
At a recent working session,
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Lao Ambassador
Sengphet Houngboungnuang discussed measures for strengthening cooperation in
trade, industry, and energy, believed to provide an important basis for further
enhancing bilateral multifaceted ties in the time to come.
To optimise development
chances and overcome difficulties, especially the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts,
the MoIT has recommended enterprises of Vietnam proactively tap into advantages
to boost exports to Laos.
Given the sound political and
diplomatic relations with Vietnam, the Lao Government has also supported
strongly and created optimal conditions for Vietnamese firms to invest and do
business in the country.
The eight pairs of
international border gates, seven pairs of main border gates, and 18 pairs of
auxiliary ones between the two nations have helped guarantee smooth bilateral
economic activities, labour export, as well as travel.
Trade between Vietnam and
Laos has also benefited much from zero-percent tariffs for most of their
commodities under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement, the bilateral trade
agreement, and the bilateral border trade deal, according to the MoIT.
The ministry also suggested
Vietnamese firms make use of the wave of Vietnamese investment in Laos to step
up shipments to this market, noting that Vietnam is currently the third largest
investor in Laos, which in turn ranks first among foreign investment
destinations of Vietnamese companies.
Major investments have been
poured into the energy, banking, industrial tree cultivation, and apparel
production industries. Laos is also calling for more foreign investment in
infrastructure development, crop production, and animal husbandry.
Thanks to this investment
wave, businesses of Vietnam has opportunities to boost the export of such items
as steel, transport vehicles and spare parts, machinery, equipment, fertiliser,
and animal feed, the MoIT noted, adding that it has been working closely with
relevant agencies to keep smooth and fruitful bilateral trading activities so
as to contribute to overall Vietnam - Laos trade growth./.