Vo Van Quyen, Director of the Domestic Market Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said Chinese businessmen come to Vietnam as travelers, but they collect farm produce to carry to China, affirming that this is an illegal activity in the Vietnamese territory.

Easy regulations clear the way for Chinese to Vietnam

Dinh Tien Phong, Deputy Director of Hathaco, a farm and seafood produce processing company, said most of the Chinese businessmen come to Vietnam to collect farm produce with an aim to collapse the Vietnamese market.

In fact, with similar geographical conditions, all the plants grown in Vietnam can also be grown in China.

China’s Hainan Island, for example, is well-known as a big chili growing land, while Chinese businesses regularly export chili to South Korea. However, Chinese businessmen still came to Vietnam to collect chili. Why did they accept to pay the high price of 30,000 dong per kilo to buy Vietnam’s chili, while Vietnamese enterprises only paid 20,000 dong?

In fact, Chinese businessmen offered high prices just to encourage Vietnamese farmers to grow more chili. After that, they disappeared from the market, leaving Vietnamese farmers with the unsold chili.

Ngo Van Chanh, Deputy Director of Chanh Thu Fruit Import-Export Company in Ben Tre province, said Chinese businessmen well understand the problems of Vietnamese farmers, who just make transactions with verbal agreements instead of signing contracts. Therefore, they can easily swindle Vietnamese farmers and welsh on their debts.

The government’s Decree No. 90 clearly shows how to treat the foreign businessmen with no presence in Vietnam. However, to date, such businessmen have not appeared in reality.

Since the decree took effect in 2007, no foreign businessman has registered their business at the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Import-Export Department or provincial industry and trade departments.

Most of the Chinese businessmen came to Vietnam with tourism visas. In Vietnam, they collected farm produce and then assume the names of Vietnamese businessmen to carry the produce back to China across the border gates.

The out-of-date decree

Under the Decree No. 90, the foreign businessmen with no presence in Vietnam are referred to the ones who do not make direct investment in Vietnam in accordance with the modes stipulated in the Investment Law and Commercial Law. The businessmen do not have representative offices or branches in Vietnam as stipulated by the Commercial Law.

The businessmen, if wanting to collect goods in Vietnam, must register for the import-export right at the Vietnamese competent agencies.

However, as Professor Vo Tong Xuan, a well-known agriculture expert in Vietnam, no one would be foolish enough to register to the competent agencies if he really plans to make deceitful trade.

It would be better for Chinese businessmen to act as travelers to come to Vietnam, which allows them to ease the administrative procedures, and then collect farm produce with the assistance of Vietnamese merchants.

In case the businessmen are discovered by the competent agencies, they would be easily escape punishment, because Vietnamese farmers cannot show any documents, invoices or contracts, to prove their behaviors.

“Therefore, the requirement on making registration at provincial industry and trade departments proves to be nonsensical,” Xuan said.

By Thu Uyen - VietNamNet Bridge - August 23, 2012