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‘Belt & Road’ plants stronger economy for Vietnam

Editor: Tong Xinxin 丨CCTV.com

11-06-2015 15:54 BJT

By Tom McGregor, CNTV Commentator

Vietnam has enjoyed remarkable economic growth in recent years, but inadequate infrastructure development is hampering the nation’s people from achieving a higher level of living standards. Major network upgrades in transport, power and technology are essential for a free flow of goods and services in the market.

Beijing has introduced the ‘Belt & Road’ initiative, as well as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and New Silk Road Fund to boost trade, infrastructure building and people-to-people connectivity for the Asia, Africa and Europe region. Vietnam stands to benefit along with the ‘Two Economic Corridors’ project.

Accordingly, Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a two-day state visit, Nov. 5-6, in Hanoi to meet Vietnamese President Tuong Tan Sang and other government, business and culture officials. They would discuss bilateral relations, regional affairs and encourage more economic, culture and education exchanges.

Bank of China financing power

The Bank of China (BOC) has also played a pivotal role to assist the Vietnamese with finance, investments and loans for its transportation and power projects that are linked with the ‘Belt & Road’ initiative and ‘Two Economic Corridors.’

Wang Hao, director of BOC’s Ho Chi Minh City branch, touted the bank’s support for the 120-MW An Khanh I Thermoelectric Plant in the northern Thai Nguyen Province, which started operations on Oct. 1.

The BOC signed a buyer credit syndication loan agreement with the An Khan Electricity Joint-Stock Company in December 2011.

The bank disbursed capital for the project, while providing legal and financial consultancy. The BOC coordinated with Vietnamese enterprises and a Chinese contractor to build the nation’s largest thermodynamics plant.

"The An Khanh I project is a success and it shows the importance of financing from the Bank of China in Vietnam’s development,” Wang told Xinhua news.

Growing Agro-trade

The China-Vietnam border is bustling with activity as trucks are queuing in long lines to deliver cross-border shipments, mainly agriculture products. The Vietnamese are consuming plenty of Chinese-grown food.

FreshPlaza Website reports that Vietnam’s northern markets consume around 700 metric-tons daily of food, while Chinese agriculture products accounts for 200 metric-tons per day. Vietnam is elevating the domestic agriculture sector to export more food abroad, especially to China.

Vietnam-based Da Lat Green Products has encouraged the Vietnamese to cultivate crops in private gardens, rooftops or on shelves for home use. The company focuses its agro-operations in the Lam Dong Province with 17,000 hectares of farmland available to produce vegetables, 2.3-million tons/year, and exports to 10 nations abroad.

Rejuvenation of tourism

The global economy continues to slump and sensitive geo-political concerns have impacted Vietnam’s tourism industry. A few years ago, the country was one of the hottest destinations in the Asian leisure travel market. But, the country has lost its sparkle.

According to VietnamNet, the nation welcomed 6.33 million foreign tourists for the first 10 months of this year, a 4.1 percent decrease year-on-year.

President Xi’s Vietnam visit could spark a surge of Chinese tourists to the nation. His face-to-face meeting with President Tuong signals a re-start of improved bilateral ties. Vietnam officials also plan to attend the upcoming tourism fair in Chengdu, scheduled for December.

Friends with benefits

The China-Vietnam partnership has endured ups and downs, but Beijing and Hanoi still hold ties that bind. President Xi’s visit will likely strengthen economic cooperation and add greater impetus for both sides to continue engaging in a common bond of prosperity.

Tmcgregorchina@yahoo.com

 

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

 

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