Rise in Chinese truck imports due to Vietnam’s new policy: official

The imports of Chinese trucks have continually increased in the first half of this year because of rising demand, which is caused by a new Vietnamese policy

Chinese trucks are on sale at a dealership in Ho Chi Minh City.

The number of trucks imported into Vietnam from China has soared in the first six months, part of the reason of which is a new policy of the Ministry of Transport triggering a rising demand for the vehicles, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The opinion was given at a briefing on the economic situation in the first half of 2015 held by the Ministry of Planning and Investment in Hanoi on Wednesday.

The imports of automobiles in the first half of this year have topped 56,000 units, surging 115.4 percent year on year, said a representative of the Economic Services Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

In particular, 36,000 of the imported vehicles, worth around US$1.2 billion, were trucks and buses.

The main import market for trucks is still China, as figures from the Vietnam Customs showed that in the first five months, the Southeast Asian country imported over 13,400 Chinese trucks worth over $516 million, four times higher than what was recorded in the same period last year.

The representative of the department explained that Vietnam has imported many large-sized vehicles due to a new Ministry of Transport policy that tightens control over truck payload besides a soaring demand for freight transportation.

The policy, made late last year by the central government and the Ministry of Transport, took effect in April this year.

"Trucks were previously allowed to transport larger quantities, 2-3 times over their loading capacity. But they will be fined heavily if they carry that much now with the new policy. So as to carry the same amount of goods as before, local transport firms have to increase the number of trucks,” Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong said.

The representative of a local business specializing in truck assembly said at the meeting that the main reason for Chinese trucks to be shipped en masse to Vietnam is domestic firms being tied up by policies, Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper reported.

"Vietnamese companies need to obtain certificates in the testing for emissions and truck components, which was applied long time ago. Now the procedures to get those certificates are getting more complex and becoming time-consuming,” Deputy Minister Dong said.

This has eliminated the opportunity for Vietnamese firms to sell more trucks when the payload control policy takes effect as they cannot have enough certificates to be allowed to assemble trucks in large quantities when the market needs, he added.

Vietnamese enterprises are enjoying preferential policies for high localization ratios, so the prices of locally assembled trucks are not significantly higher than the Chinese rivals, the official said.

Regarding quality, vehicles manufactured in the two countries are quite similar, he added.

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