|Viet Nam and Laos signed a bilateral border trade agreement in Cua Lo Town, Nghe An Province, on Saturday. — Photo VNA Ta Chuyen
NGHE AN (VNS) — Viet Nam and Laos signed a bilateral border trade agreement in Cua Lo Town, Nghe An Province, on Saturday.
The agreement will take effect after a number of procedures are finalised.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who was on hand to witness the signing ceremony, said the agreement would create a legal corridor for the two countries' cross-border trade, contribute to reducing poverty in border provinces and help to realise the goal of US$ 2 billion in bilateral trade set for this year.
The agreement, which consists of 23 articles, includes specific regulations dealing with cross-border trade by traders and residents who live on the two countries' border, as well as the development of border markets and border trade support services.
It also designates specific border crossings to be used exclusively for border trade in line with bilateral and international multilateral treaties to which the two countries are signatories.
Under this agreement, the tax rate on goods imported from Viet Nam into Laos and vice versa will be zero.
Vietnamese investors who run production facilities in Lao provinces bordering Viet Nam will be exempt from value-added tax and other non-tariff barriers on products they ship back to Viet Nam.
The agreement also regulates payments for cross-border trade, including measures to check the amount of cash going across the border.
Measures will also be taken to control the transport of vehicles and tighten quarantine and inspections of goods crossing the border.
A bilateral committee on cross-border trade will be set up and the two sides plan to set up a group for traders from the two countries.
The two sides also agreed to hold a conference on co-operation and the development of cross-border every two years. Last year, two-way trade reached US$1.3 billion, up 14.2 per cent from 2013.
In the first half of this year, it reached US$686 million. — VNS