NANNING, China, March 14, 2023 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/– Right now, at the Youyiguan Port in Pingxiang City, Guangxi, trucks loaded with goods are crossing the China-Vietnam border. With the optimization and adjustment of entry-exit policies this year, this major trade corridor linking China to ASEAN and the rest of the world has returned to its previous bustling and vibrant atmosphere.
Due to climate differences, fruits from ASEAN countries such as Vietnam and Thailand ripen earlier, and for China, March is the peak season for fruit imports. Fruits are perishable goods, posing high requirements on logistics transportation, warehousing and customs clearance. According to Huang Feifei, the chief of Youyiguan Customs Supervision Section I, “While administering strict inspections, the Customs also implements measures such as ‘green channels’ for imported fruits, ‘7*24 hours’ pre-booked clearance, and rapid laboratory testing, which substantially shorten customs clearance time for ASEAN fruit imports.”
In recent years, Guangxi has vigorously supported the infrastructure construction of key border ports, including more inspection checkpoints and larger cargo transfer sites. At the Youyiguan Port, it only takes around a minute or even less for trucks to pass through the checkpoint. According to Xia Gaofeng, Director of Chongzuo Foreign Affairs and Commercial Port Bureau, “We have implemented a series of reform measures such as one-stop customs clearance, fully information-based intelligent customs clearance, ‘advance review and clearance of import and export goods, and checkpoint inspection and release’, resulting in a significant reduction of time for vehicle customs clearance.”
The improvement of customs clearance efficiency has genuinely unleashed the potentials of the port, while Guangxi’s border financial reform has provided great convenience for cross-border trade. In the China (Dongxing Pilot Zone) ASEAN Currency Business Center, just a few steps away from Dongxing Port, a giant electronic screen displays the official exchange rate of RMB to VDN. Today, the area has realized the currency exchange between RMB and VDN using direct quote.
Financial reform along the border has benefited the people of both China and Vietnam, and cross-border trade has become more prosperous. In recent years, financial institutions such as Bank of Guilin have successively carried out cross-border transfer of RMB and VDN banknotes, and cross-border finance has gradually expanded from merely a transaction settlement business to multiple fields.
Wang Yunxiao, Vice President of Guilin Bank said, “We have also launched special border prospering and enriching financing products such as ‘Huibian Loan’, ‘Hushi Loan’ and ‘Bianyi Loan’ to meet the financial needs of border residents engaged in cross-border trade, enterprises engaged in processing of imported materials, and purchasers.”
Guangxi’s excellent border infrastructure is a guarantee for the rapid recovery of cross-border trade. The upgrading of border power grid has led to a leap in power supply capacity; the acceleration of the construction of border communication infrastructure has basically realized 4G network coverage; the constantly improving highway network, and the increasingly smoother logistics channels, and the like. The infrastructure of Guangxi’s border has been veritably enhanced due to the concerted efforts of multiple parties.
According to Wu Xiaohui, Executive Deputy Director of the Chongzuo District Management Committee of China (Guangxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone, Pingxiang has 13 cross-border railway trains and 22 cross-border highway logistics lines, capable of reaching more than 20 major hub cities in ASEAN countries, with logistics network covering the Indo-China Peninsula.
In order to facilitate investment, trade, cross-border capitals, and transportation, the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region recently issued a multi-pronged plan to further promote the deepening of reforms and advance opening-up efforts.
Bai Lan, the Full-time Deputy Director of the Office of China (Guangxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone, introduced that the plan calls for the Guangxi Free Trade Zone to fully implement the pre-establishment national treatment plus negative management system list, and establish an operational and post-operational supervision management system that is compatible with the negative list management method, while promoting the opening-up of telecommunications, the Internet, education and other fields in an orderly manner, as well as the vigorously development of new forms and models of foreign trade such as cross-border e-commerce, offshore trade, and digital trade.
In addition, in terms of open development and exploration and innovation, the China (Guangxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone will hasten the exploration of institutional opening-up, create a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) demonstration projects cluster implemented as per high standards, benchmark against the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) rules, and carry out pilot trials and risk stress tests in key areas such as trade in services, financial opening, and digital economy.
Source: The Management Committee of China (Guangxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone