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China, Vietnam enjoy booming border trade

Source:   Time:

Four ASEAN members including Vietnam are looking to 2015 when they become a part of the China-ASEAN free trade zone. But on the border, businesses continue to thrive. BizAsia correspondent Niu Yun travelled to Beilun River bridge, the most convenient land and water port for China and Vietnam.

As the clock ticks to 8 in the morning, people hastefully rush to the other side of the border. The one-hundred-meter-long bridge links China's Dongxing and Vietnam's Mong Cai City, which lie along the Beilun river.

Carrying big bags, many of them make daily trips between the 2 countries.

One businessman said "I have sold groceries in Mong Cai for around 2 and 3 years."

Since 2008, China exempted tariffs on goods worth less than 8000 yuan per person, per day. At present, one third of the trade in Dongxing is conducted by residents carrying bags or boating across the river. After the China-ASEAN free trade zone began operating at the beginning of this year, more businessmen from the interior of China came to seek opportunities.

Mr. Cao, Businessman from Zhejiang said "It's the first time I come here. Why? I just want to check out whether there is any opportunity. I am dealing in produce, with its prices roaring in China. I want to know whether produce in Vietnam could be any cheaper."

In 2009, Dongxing's total cross-border trade volume reached 7.5 billion yuan. The border city, located in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, has become a gold mine for businesses from both countries. Vietnamese Huang Xiaoxia, has been dealing in wood furniture for 5 years. She said Dongxing's location enables her to combine Vietnam's rich resources and China's great skills.

Huang Xiaoxia, Wood Furniture Dealer said "I settled down in Dongxing after I married a Chinese man. Now I feel half Chinese."

Veteran furniture trader Liu Xin witnessed the changes that have taken place over the past 20 years.

Liu Xin, Owner of Dongxing Jiaxuan Co. said "At that time,border trade was a total mess. There is no so-called a border market. Gradually, the 2 governments tried to regulate cross-border trade. There has been a great improvement."

Due to the dynamic trade with China, Mong Cai, on the other side of the Beilun river, is Vietnam's first and largest economic development zone as well.

In the next episode, We'll add some exotic and tropical touches. Our reporter will take us to a huge dragon fruit farm in Guangxi province where appetites and ambitions both get satisfied.

Please stay with BizAsia for the special coverage on China-Asean Free Trade Zone.

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