Vietnam, China ease road transport restrictions with agreement

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Vietnam and China have signed an agreement to allow buses and trucks to cross the border along a 1,300-kilometer route linking Hanoi and Shenzhen.

"The new transport agreement will have a profound impact not only on bilateral trade and tourism, but also on transport facilitation in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)," said Yushu Feng, Principal Economist at the Asian Development Bank, which facilitated the agreement under GMS transport facilitation initiatives.

"This is a key milestone for regional cooperation."

The agreement will ease restrictions on trucks and buses traveling between major economic zones in China's Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and six Vietnamese provinces and the cities of Hanoi and Hai Phong.

Until now transport operators were only allowed to travel 20 kilometers inside each other's territory. Since August the two countries are each allowed to issue up to 15,100 permits for trucks and buses to travel in border provinces and 500 permits for trucks and buses traveling further inland.

Another major route, connecting China's Kunming and Vietnam's Hanoi and Hai Phong, was inaugurated in Kunming on August 16 as part of the agreement.

In 2011 the volume of transport between China and Vietnam via the Huu Nghi Yuyi-Friendship Border Gate topped one million tons of goods and 726,000 people.

It is expected to increase with the new agreement. The quota will be increased next year to meet market demand.

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