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Officials deny Chinese lychee import rumours

Update: July, 03/2014 - 09:40
Officials have denied media allegations that Chinese lychee are being imported into Viet Nam via several border gates. — Photo cafebiz

LANG SON (VNS) — Officials have denied media allegations that Chinese lychee are being imported into Viet Nam via several border gates, such as Coc Nam and Tan Thanh, in northern Lang Son Province.

Nguyen Thi Ha, head of the provincial Plant Quarantine Unit of Zone 7, told a Viet Nam News Agency correspondent on Tuesday that the story was not true.

"Any type of fruit entering Viet Nam in the province must be quarantined by the unit," she said.

Nong Viet Trung, head of Coc Nam Customs Division's anti-smuggling team said, "It was really a malicious rumour!"

Trung also said that Viet Nam did not need to import Chinese lychee so far because Vietnamese fruit sold for a reasonable price and were of good quality.

Nguyen Thi Thuy, a local trader living in Dong Dang Town, near Tan Thanh Border Gate, said that the Chinese lychee season came a month earlier than in Viet Nam.

Some Vietnamese traders doing business in China bought a small amount of Chinese lychee to eat, Thuy said.

Hoang Khanh Hoa, head of Lang Son Customs Department, told the online site of the Vietnamese Government that there were no report from its units about Chinese lychee imports.

However, if any traders wanted to import Chinese lychee, he said they would be allowed if the fruit was of good quality and had the right papers.

A customs office at one border gate in Lang Son Province said Chinese traders were buying Vietnamese lychees because they were big and fresh.

He said Vietnamese traders were selling lower-grade lychee at markets near the border gates, suggesting people were confusing the two fruit.

In a related move, online newspaper Vnexpress reported that Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai told a Government meeting that if all Vietnamese ate a few lychee, local farmers would never have to worry.

Hai said that about 60-70 per cent of lychees grown in the North had been sold down South. — VNS

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