1Bilateral trade and investment
According to customs statistics in China, the bilateral trade volume between China and Vietnam in 2006 climbed by 21.4% over the previous year to total US＄ 9.95 billion, among which China s exports to Vietnam accounted for US＄ 7.46 billion, up 32.3%, while China s imports from Vietnam dropped by 2.6% to reach US＄
2.49 billion. China enjoyed a surplus of US＄ 4.97 billion in its trade with Vietnam.
China mainly exported to Vietnam fossil fuels, mineral oils and their products, machinery and equipment, steel and related products, chemical fertilizers, cotton, textile products, garments and accessories, and motor vehicles. China s imports from Vietnam included, among others, minerals, mineral oils and their products, rubber and related products, electrical machinery, electrical apparatuses, audio video appliances and their spare and component parts, timber and timber work, fruits, furnaces, mechanical devices and their spare parts.
According to the Ministry of Commerce(hereinafter referred to as MOFCOM), by the end of 2006, the accumulated turnover of engineering contracts completed by Chinese companies in Vietnam had reached US＄ 1.92 billion, and the volume of completed labor service contracts had reached US＄ 260 million.
According to MOFCOM, China s total non financial foreign direct investment(FDI), approved by or filed with MOFCOM, reached US＄ 48.79 million in 2006.Vietnam investors invested in 13 projects in China in 2006, with a total contractual investment of US＄ 22.88 million and an actual utilization of US＄
2Vietnam s trade and investment regime
On 11 January 2007, Vietnam became a member of the World Trade
Organization(WTO). At present, the major laws pertaining to trade and investment in
Vietnam include, inter alia, the Law on Customs, the Law on Trade, the Law on
Import and Export Taxation, the Law on Investment, the Law on Enterprises, and the
Law on Competition.
2.1Trade administration regime and its recent changes
On the basis of Customs Modernization, Development and Reform Program for
2004—2006, the Vietnamese government has set forth objectives, tasks and measures of customs reform for the period 2006—2010. According to the 2006—2010 program,
Vietnam is working to build a stable and transparent regulatory regime for customs administration, with a total investment of US＄ 77.06 million during the five years to build a modern customs administration structure in lines with international standards, to promote electronic customs system, and to improve customs clearance and risk control. In an effort to comply with relevant rules of the WTO, Vietnam has, beginning in
2002, based its customs valuation on real trading prices of imports, and abolished in
2004 the requirement of minimum import prices for all products. Currently, Vietnam administers three different categories of tariff rates: common tariff rate, most favored nation(MFN) tariff rate, and preferential tariff rate. The preferential tariff rate mainly applies to imports from countries and regions with which Vietnam has signed bilateral or regional trade agreements, including ASEAN specific preferential tariff rate, US Vietnam Trade Agreement preferential tariff rate, and
China ASEAN Free Trade Area preferential tariff rate. Common tariff rate, which is
50% higher than the MFN rate of duty, applies to countries that have not established normal trade relations with Vietnam. On the other hand, the MFN tariff rate is chiefly applicable to imports from countries which have entered into normal trade relations with Vietnam.
The simple average MFN tariff rate currently stands at approximately 18.2% in
Vietnam, with agricultural products averaging 24.5% and non agricultural products averaging 15.7% respectively. Pursuant to the Protocol on the Accession of Vietnam to the WTO, Vietnam will lower the MFN