Vietnam, Laos enjoy flourishing trade ties

The 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, Laos enjoy flourishing trade ties hinh anh 1The Lao Bao International Border Gate of Vietnam's Quang Tri province is situated on the shared borderline with Laos (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The 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 year.

Export and import have stayed relatively balanced, with goods traded between the two countries diversified.

Trading activities 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 broke out.

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./.