China and Vietnam inked here Sunday a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for inclusion of Nanning-Hanoi corridor and Youyiguan-Huu Nghi Border Crossing Point in the scope of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Cross-Border Transport Agreement.
The MOU, signed by Chinese Vice Minister of Communication Weng Mengyong and Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Transport Le Manh Hung, is a bilateral materialization of the GMS Cross-Border Transport Agreement, Lawrence Greenwood, Vice President of the Asian Development Bank, said at the MOU signing ceremony.
The agreement, a multilateral instrument for the facilitation of cross-border transport of goods and people in six countries sharing the Mekong River -- Laos, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand -- formulated under the auspices of the bank's technical assistance, in general and the MOU in particular will help speed up movement of cargos and passengers in the sub-region by streamlining regulations and axing non-physical barriers, he said, noting that trade and tourism in China's southern region and Vietnam's northern region has been growing considerably in recent years.
The agreement covers all the relevant aspects of cross-border transport facilitation, including single-stop and single-window customs inspection; cross-border movement of people like visas for persons engaged in transport operations; transit traffic regimes, including exemptions from physical customs inspection, bond deposit, escort, and phytosanitary and veterinary inspection; requirements that road vehicles will have to meet to be eligible for cross-border traffic; exchange of commercial traffic rights; and infrastructure, including road and bridge design standards, road signs and signals.
The agreement will apply to selected and mutually agreed upon routes and points of entry and exit in the signatory countries.
Vietnam has always actively coordinated with other GMS countries, including China, Cambodia and Thailand, in negotiating and signing protocols and annexes of the GMS Cross-Border Transport Agreement, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told Xinhua on March 29.
With the theme "Enhancing Competitiveness through Greater Connectivity," the 3rd GMS Summit slated for March 30-31 in Vientiane is an important forum for GMS leaders to discuss orientations and measures to foster sustainable development and raise the sub-region's competitiveness via strengthening transport, energy, trade, investment, tourism and environment connectivity, the prime minister said.