- In the past 2 months, the non-tariff parking lot waiting for export at Tan Thanh border gate has never had less than 1,000 container trucks.
- While Vietnam implements a flexible policy against the epidemic, the Chinese side still implements the “Zero COVID” policy.
- From September 26, all Vietnamese drivers must hand over their cars to their foreign drivers, while there is a shortage of specialized drivers on the Chinese side.
Congestion has lasted for almost 2 months
The end of the year is the time to harvest many kinds of agricultural products such as dragon fruit, mango, citrus, grapefruit, jackfruit, etc. provinces of the Mekong Delta region. These are agricultural products with a large export volume to the Chinese market.
In the past 2 months, the non-tariff parking lot waiting for export at Tan Thanh border gate has never had less than 1,000 container trucks. Mr. Le Tuan Kiet, driver of Tien Giang province, has brought jackfruit from Tien Giang, has been eating and sleeping in the car for more than a week but has not been able to export it yet. “It’s been a week, if I can pass it, I’m happy, but I’m nervous when I go there, and then I don’t know when to bring the car back,” said Mr. Kiet.
Causes of Congestion
According to the border gate management center of Lang Son province, the first cause of congestion was that the Chinese side had temporarily stopped importing some agricultural products, but localities still poured in, so they could not export.
Secondly, because the vaccination rate of long-distance drivers is still low, mainly with one injection, there are still positive cases of COVID-19 in the province. While Vietnam implements a flexible policy against the epidemic, the Chinese side still implements the “Zero COVID” policy. Just 1 case of infection according to the delivery driver, that border gate will be closed all trade activities.
To ensure the safety of the epidemic, from September 26, all Vietnamese drivers must hand over their cars to their foreign drivers, while there is a shortage of specialized drivers on the Chinese side, so this is also the main reason prolonging the congestion.
How to solve this problem
Currently, the local government and functional agencies are taking numerous steps to best help the waiting drivers, as well as engaging with the Chinese side to find a solution to the matter.
In 2020, Vietnam’s export of agricultural, forestry, and fishery products will reach an export turnover of over 41 billion USD, of which the Chinese market accounts for 27%. Moreover, in the first 10 months of 2021, China is the second largest market of Vietnam’s agriculture, forestry and fishery, reaching nearly 7.5 billion USD (accounting for 19.3% of the market share) with vegetables and fruits accounting for 23.4% share of export turnover.
These numbers illustrate that any changes in China’s import policies will have a considerable influence on the Vietnamese market. At this moment, it is critical to have timely solutions in place to enhance circulation and align the interests of the parties. In the long run, Vietnam’s agricultural products must aggressively meet the quality standards of importers to capitalize on this potential market, especially given that the new tighter laws will only be in force for one month.