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Chinese merchants welch on their debts, harass domestic market   2012-05-17 - TBKTVN

Under the cover of tourists, Chinese merchants have been going to every corner in rural areas, where they scramble for aquatic products, then escape from the localities, leaving big debts, and thus making local farmers suffer.

What do Chinese merchants do in Vietnamese land?

Nguyen Hoang Vu, a Vietnamese merchant in Ca Mau province, who collects crabs from farmers to sell to Chinese merchants, said on Thanh Nien that when he called a Chinese merchant to ask him to pay debts, the merchant said he could not pay 500 million dong to Vu, and then… hung up.

Dang, who lives in the same locality, is also a victim of the same Chinese merchant. At first, the merchant collected crabs in big quantity and made payment at once, but later, he tried to repudiate his debts. Hai Au, another farmer, complained that he has lost 90 million dong.

The same newspaper has reported that Chinese merchants have been present not only in Nam Can and Dam Doi districts, but also in Cai Nuoc, Tran Van Thoi and Ngoc Hien districts of Ca Mau province to hunt for crabs and fish.

Duong Minh Thoi, Deputy Head of the Police Station in Dam Doi town, said four Chinese people have registered their temporary residence in the town, and three of them have been collecting aquatic products in the locality.

However, local residents believe that there are 10 Chinese merchants collecting the products in the localities.

Local farmers these days have been going to local agencies to notify the fact that they have been cheated by Chinese merchants. Especially, Wang Juanmei, 38, a Chinese woman, has escaped with the debt of 10 billion dong.

The Central Steering Committee for Anti-counterfeiting and trade frauds (Committee 127) has affirmed that the foreign merchants, who organize the networks to collect goods from farmers, have violated the Vietnamese laws.

It’s difficult to stop Chinese merchants

The steering committee has also pointed out that the collection of farm produce and aquatic products by Chinese merchants has caused disturbance to the domestic market, with the seafood products’ prices pushed up to abnormally high levels. As a result, domestic seafood processing factories lack materials for processing, because of which they may not fulfill the export contracts signed before with foreign importers.

Especially, Chinese merchants collect aquatic products of different qualities and different sizes. Therefore, the majority of fishermen have been trying to catch aquatic creatures with trawl nets, which may eradicate the creatures.

While Vietnamese farmers have been put on tenterhooks because of the irrecoverable debts, state management agencies still do not know what to do to settle the problem, saying that they need a legal framework to treat the violations.

According to the Khanh Hoa provincial Market Management Sub-department, Chinese violated merchants always try to cause obstruction to the investigation agencies. They try to stay uncooperative with the agencies and blame on the lack of knowledge about Vietnamese laws. Especially, after recognizing the violations, they escaped and did not pay fines.

Experts have said that the loosened management over the payment methods in import-export activities has created the loopholes for Chinese merchants to exploit. They have urged to tighten the currency exchange control to effectively control the goods collection.

The government has released the decision No. 80 on trading farm produce in accordance with trade contracts in an effort to ensure the stable outlets for Vietnamese farm produce.

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