Vietnam Railways launches the first freight train service from Vietnam to Belgium. (Photo: VNA)

Then, containers will be delivered to Rotterdam city (Netherlands) by lorries.

VNR said the train carried 23 containers with such goods as textile, leather and footwear.  During its journey, the train will stop at Zhenzhou city of China’s Henan province and connect to the Asia-Europe train to reach its destination.

According to the corporation, this is the first container freight train operated by Rail Transport and Trade Joint Stock Company (Ratraco) in conjunction with transport firms from other countries providing logistics services to customers from Vietnam to the target destination.

Currently, VNR is providing freight train services between Vietnam and China and transiting to Russia, Europe, ASEAN and Central Asian countries. The firm provides full logistics services to customers.

Nguyen Hoang Thanh, deputy director-general of Ratraco, said that the successful organisation of the train from Vietnam to Belgium will open up rail transport routes going deeper into Europe, in addition to the existing ones to Germany and Poland.

“Currently, Ratraco and its European partner plan to organise eight trips per month departing from Vietnam,” Thanh said, adding that the total estimated time for the entire journey is 25 to 27 days.

It is expected that the second train will depart from Yen Vien station on July 27 carrying electronic products and the third one on August 3, he said.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, international maritime transport is facing difficulties, rail service is being sought by many customers to transport goods from Vietnam to China and from there on to Europe.

With the advantage of an efficient international rail connection system and trains arriving at destination stations on time with reasonable costs, intermodal rail transport is thriving.

Ministry of Transport agrees to pilot receiving international tourists to Phu Quoc

The leader of the Ministry of Transport said that the pilot program of welcoming international tourists to Phu Quoc Island in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang needs a comprehensive and thorough plan to ensure safety and prevention of the epidemic.

Phu Quoc International Airport. (Photo: VNA)

The ministry basically agreed with the contents of the draft pilot plan on welcoming international tourists to Phu Quoc in order to realize the Government leader’s direction on the implementation of the Politburo’s Conclusion 07.

The ministry noted the need to work out thorough measures of COVID-19 prevention and control to ensure safety for locals and prevent the spread of the virus from foreign visitors to the local community.

It also proposed giving priority to vaccinating local residents in Phu Quoc against COVID-19, monitoring international tourists throughout the duration of their stay, and putting in place plans to prevent infections among service providers.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is collecting suggestions from ministries and sectors on its pilot plan and the process of welcoming international visitors with “vaccine passports” to Phu Quoc in 6 months, starting from October 2021.

According to the draft plan, the reception of international tourists with “vaccine passports” has two phases. In the first phase (3 months), Phu Quoc will pilot welcoming about 2,000-3,000 tourists a month, via charter flights, and tourists will be served with limited scope and locations.

In the second phase (3 months), the scale will expand from 5,000-10,000 tourists a month; tourists can travel via commercial flights; and the scope and location of services will be expanded.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism plans to welcome 25,000-40,000 international tourists to Phu Quoc during the six months.

Over 1 million tonnes of goods traded via Mong Cai border gate

The total weight of goods imported and exported through the Mong Cai international border gate from January 1 to July 18 reached more than 1 million tons, up 89.2% over the same period last year, according to its management board.

Photo for illustration. (Source: VOV)

According to the Vietnam News Agency, despite serious impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, border trade activities in Mong Cai city of the northern Quang Ninh province, which borders China, have been well maintained with a surge in the volume of import and export goods compared to the figure in 2020.

During the period, the collected fees totalled more than 34 billion VND (1.47 million USD), up 58 percent year-on-year and equal to 62.7 percent of the yearly target.

Specifically, the Bac Luan Bridge border gate had 28,358 vehicle arrivals, including 12,806 Vietnamese vehicles, 15,552 Chinese vehicles, an average of 158 vehicles per day and more than 470,000 tons of import and export goods were carried, an increase of 12.38% year on year.

The number of vehicles crossing the Hai Yen Km3+4 temporary pontoon bridge reached 24,817. They carried 608,334 tons of goods, an increase of 335% year on year.

Since the beginning of the year, the Mong Cai international border gate has carried out procedures for nearly 6,500 people entering and leaving the border; in which, the number of people receiving and applying isolation measures was 1,876.

In order to create favourable conditions for the import and export of goods, Mong Cai city has organized SARS-CoV-2 virus testing by the quick method at the border gate for drivers and their assistants.

According to statistics, the city has taken samples to test for COVID-19 from 6,770 officials, soldiers, and civil servants in border sectors, businesses, transit drivers, and long-distance drivers at the border gate.

Recently, Mong Cai has also completed the vaccination against COVID-19 for all border residents and workers working in industrial zones to create a safe environment for economic development, especially the border economy./.