Source: Vientiane Times
Businesses engaged in foreign trade have asked the government to allow imports and exports via local and traditional border checkpoints as they are facing problems in transporting goods through international checkpoints amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Several development and investment projects are struggling to import and export their goods after the government suspended services at local and traditional checkpoints to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
As the transportation of goods currently requires more time and expenditure, developers and investors with projects located close to local and traditional border checkpoints have called on relevant authorities to resolve this issue.
In view of the importance of the matter, the Department of Import and Export under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has proposed the government should consider allowing trade in essential goods by issuing a special policy, the department’s Director General, Mr Soulinhon Philavong, told Vientiane Times recently.
According to the proposal, the government can hand over rights and responsibilities to local authorities, who can work directly with their counterparts in neighbouring countries to find solutions, he said.
These local authorities have a lot of experience, and they also know which items are important and which are the essential goods to be imported and exported through the border checkpoints, he said.
The transportation of goods through international checkpoints continues even after the governments of Laos and neighbouring countries temporarily closed them to travellers to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
At the end of last month, hundreds of trucks carrying agricultural produce, especially bananas and watermelons, from Laos to China spent many days at the Boten International Checkpoint in Luang Namtha province as all consignments were strictly inspected by local authorities.
Now, all the trucks have crossed the border following consultations between local authorities on both sides.