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Vietnam urged to boost trade with China, Laos
Publication Date : 02-05-2012
Vietnam's Minister of Industry and Trade urged authorities in the north-western province of Dien Bien to work on strengthening exports to nearby markets of China and Laos.
Minister Vu Huy Hoang made the suggestions during a visit to Dien Bien, where he urged local government and business leaders to focus on the coffee, rubber, tea and minerals sectors, areas in which the province already had a competitive advantage.
Hoang said Dien Bien enjoys a favourable trading position as it borders China's Yun Nan province and the Lao province of Phongsali.
"The province has an important location, and as it is still grappling with many difficulties related to its economic development, the ministry will support Dien Bien to enhance local industry and trade," he said during a recent visit, which was aimed at checking on provincial economic development strategies.
Although the province faced many challenges, industrial production still achieved a growth rate of 18 per cent, with a total revenue at 671 billion viet nam dong (US$31.95 million) last year.
The province's mining sector saw especially strong development, notching up a year-on-year growth rate of 56.8 per cent growth, while processing industries registered a 16.6 per cent growth rate for 2011.
Industrial output in the first quarter of this year saw a 12.4 per cent increase on the same period last year.
The province's retail goods and services turnover reached 4.2 trillion viet nam dong ($200 million) last year, an increase of 34.3 per cent against the previous year.
Total export value hit $16.5 million in 2011, up 24 per cent from 2010.
Dien Bien also saw a trade surplus, with $10.3 million in exports against $6.2 million in imports, bucking the national trade balance of a deficit.
Le Duc Vinh, deputy director of the ministry's Planning Department, said Dien Bien enjoyed an growth rate in industry and trade that was higher than the national average last year. The results had been positively reflected in the province's GDP (gross domestic products) growth rate of 10.19 per cent, while the national GDP growth was at 5.9 per cent, said Vinh.
Do Thang Hai, director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade), said the ministry would support the province's enterprises to participate in local and overseas exhibitions and fairs, while also offering support in expansion of e-commerce and development of better strategies to bolster exports to China.
Bui Huy Son, director of ministry's Asia-Pacific Market Department, asked provincial authorities to list local companies and export staples so that the ministry could better support local businesses in the search for foreign partners, especially in China and Laos.