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Feb 23, 2023 / 14:40

Vietnam wants to restore international travel with China: PM Chinh

Chinese arrivals to Vietnam reached 5.8 million in 2019, accounting for one-third of the total.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on February 22 called on China soon resume sending tour groups to Vietnam to boost bilateral tourism cooperation.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) meets Secretary of  the Party Committee of China’s Hainan Province, Shen Xiaoming, on February 22. Photo: VGP

Vietnam urges China to list the country as a destination for outbound tourism groups to boost people-to-people exchange and tourism, Prime Minister Chinh said at a meeting with the Secretary of the Party Committee of China's Hainan Province, Shen Xiaoming.

China resumed pilot outbound tours to over 20 nations starting February 6, among them, seven from Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

Vietnam's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on February 9 requested China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism to reconsider the decision.

On his part, Hainan governor Shen Xiaoming said that the province values its relations with Vietnamese agencies and that municipal authorities always find ways to improve the bilateral ties.

Shen affirmed that Hainan would work with Vietnamese authorities to implement Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's suggestions, including restoring sea and air travel between the two nations.

The Chinese Government on January 8 lifted border restrictions in place since January 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

China was one of Vietnam's largest tourist source markets in the pre-pandemic stage. In 2019, Vietnam received 5.8 million Chinese tourists, accounting for one-third of the country's total foreign arrivals. In return, some 4.5 million Vietnamese people visited China in the same year.

Boosting economic relations

The two nations should explore opportunities for further cooperation in tourism, transportation, education and training, healthcare, cultural exchange, and climate change, the Vietnamese government leader said.

He called on authorities of Hainan Province to strengthen cooperation with Vietnamese central and municipal agencies, including those from HCM City and Quang Ninh Province.

He also urged Hainan authorities to cooperate with Vietnam to maintain peace and security, improve rescue operations, and humanely treat fishermen in the South China Sea.

In return, the Chinese official said that Hainan Province would soon allow the establishment of a Vietnamese trade promotion office on the island.

He added that bilateral trade would also be fostered, including the imports by Hainan of Vietnamese farm produce, to strengthen the economic relations between Vietnam and China.

Shen affirmed that Hainan Island authorities and their Vietnamese counterparts would seek solutions to develop a free commercial seaport, which has proven to be a good model for growth in China's Shenzhen and Hongkong.