|Suggestions from 25 border provinces made it clear that Viet Nam needed to upgrade and rebuild 122 border markets, improve 93 roads leading to border gates and invest in four border economic zones. — VNA/VNS Photo Ho Cau
HA NOI (VNS) — Inadequate infrastructure and supporting services are among the challenges that Viet Nam must overcome to become a hub for cross-border trade, especially as ASEAN will soon become an integrated economic community.
Infrastructure at border gates such as storage areas, inspection equipment and connecting roads were among the hurdles that must be addressed to improve cross-border trade, according to Nguyen Van Hoi, deputy director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Department of Mountainous Area Trade.
At a recent forum with international development partners on improving border trade, representatives from Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Cao Bang and Ha Giang provinces said most of the roads serving border gates were narrow. Mountainous roads and a lack of investment in supermarkets, border markets, storage centres and parking areas also made it difficult for businesses.
Suggestions from 25 border provinces made it clear that Viet Nam needed to upgrade and rebuild 122 border markets, improve 93 roads leading to border gates and invest in four border economic zones.
Vo Dai Luoc, former chairperson of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said policies should encourage the private sector to invest in infrastructure development at border gates.
The Trade Ministry is working on a plan to call for investment into upgrading border markets, connecting roads and improving the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises involved in border trade.
Viet Nam aims to record US$30 billion from border trade by 2020, according to a development plan approved recently by the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. Under the plan, the country could fetch as much as $14 billion in export earnings, with imports valued at $16 billion.
Border trade is forecast to reach $50 billion by 2030, with approximately $22 billion coming from exports.
The country is now home to 28 border EZs, covering a total area of 600,000ha. — VNS