Thailand wants China-Vietnam checkpoints open 24 hours to ease fruit exports

BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Thailand has urged Vietnam to negotiate with China on opening their three checkpoints round the clock to facilitate the export of fruits.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit said he had made the suggestion to Vietnam's Minister of Industry and Trade, Nguyen Hong Hsien, during the fourth meeting of the bilateral Joint Trade Committee in Bangkok.

Jurin said he had suggested to the Vietnamese minister to negotiate with the Chinese government on keeping the three checkpoints at Youyguan, Pingxing and Dong Dang open 24 hours, which would facilitate the delivery of Thai fruits.

Currently Youyguan, bordering Vietnam's Wu Ngi checkpoint, and the Pingxiang railway checkpoints are open from 8am to 7pm.

Meanwhile, Vietnam's Dong Dang railway checkpoint is open for business from 8.30am to 6pm.

Opening the checkpoints for longer hours will help the smooth movement of Thai fruits to China. Currently exporters are worried about their consignments to China getting spoilt. If all three checkpoints are open 24 hours a day, it would alleviate the suffering of exporters, Jurin said.

Next month, Thai fruits will reach their peak season. Jurin said the ministry has written to the Chinese government to discuss the problems faced by Thai fruit exporters in transporting their consignments.

Jurin requested additionally that Vietnam and China expand the Green Lane to facilitate the delivery of Thai products through the Covid-19-free process according to the standards to enter China faster, and also increasing staffing.

During the meeting, Vietnam also requested Thailand to expedite the issuance of licences for import of five types of fruit -- grapefruit, custard apple, passion fruit, star apple or milk fruit and rambutan -- while Jurin proposed that the matter be resolved using the MoU channel established with the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives as a dialogue forum.

Jurin also requested Vietnam's assistance in promoting trade shows, particularly the Mini Thailand Week, which will be held in Can Tho from May 20-22, and in Quang Ninh from June 16-19, and Thai products in the Vietnamese markets.

Nguyen suggested that Thailand use Vietnam's online platforms as a channel, such as Shopee, Lazada, Vietnam Tikki, and Sendo.

The fourth Thai-Vietnam Conference will cover a wide range of subjects in the coming months, including resolving Vietnam's trade imbalance with Thailand and the worldwide economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

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