Free trade between VN, Laos

Update: August, 06/2016 - 09:00
Customs officials inspect goods at Cầu Treo International Border Gate in the central province of Hà Tĩnh, which is one of the 15 border gates between Việt Nam and Laos. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Hùng
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – More than 95 per cent of commodities between Việt Nam and Laos will have tariffs erased or a 50 per cent reduction in tariffs when the bilateral trade agreement and border trade agreement come into effect.

Lê An Hải, deputy director of the Asia Pacific Market Department from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) of Việt Nam made the comment at a conference in Hà Nội between the two countries’ ministries of Industry and Trade yesterday.

Hải said the bilateral trade agreement was signed in March 2015 with the border trade agreement signed in June the same year. The trade agreement replaces one signed in 1998.

He said under the trade agreement, most goods will access a special tariff that decreases tax to zero per cent or 50 per cent lower than current rates in the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement.

The border agreement also gave incentives to enterprises in two countries. Hải said the deals would strengthen bilateral trade and diversify trade between the two countries.

The border trade agreement would contribute to border development in the two countries, making them gateways for goods in the region and the world, said a MoIT representative. The representative said it would also help strengthen cross-border investment.

The conference also heard it was necessary to release documents of the agreements in both countries to best benefit relevant stakeholders. According to MoIT of Việt Nam, trade turnover between the two sides grew from 2010 - 2014, reaching an average increase of 25.8 per cent per year, however, growth had decreased recently.

Last year, two way trade volume reached US$1.1 billion, down 12.6 per cent from 2014. In the first half of 2016, bilateral trade volume reached $433.3 million, down 34.7 per cent from last term.  — VNS