Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia seek investments for Mekong sub region

Delegates attending a forum on investment and cooperation for the Mekong sub region, held in the central highland province of Dak Lak on November 9, all agreed that Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia need to work on common preferential policies to attract lucrative investments for the Development Triangle Area.

The Cambodia-Lao-Vietnam Development Triangle Area comprises of 13 provinces, covering a total natural land area of 144, and a population of approximately seven million people.

Opening the forum, Dao Quang Thu, deputy minister of Planning and Investment, said Vietnam has now 112 investment projects in Cambodia with a total investment of US$ 2.36 billion.

In Laos, Vietnam currently has 50 investment projects in the development triangle area between three countries, with a total investment of $1.65 billion, accounting for 22.9 percent of the total number of projects and 47.5 percent of the total capital from Vietnam.

To date, five Vietnamese provinces in the area have attracted 75 projects from Cambodia and Laos with a total registered capital of $95.5 million.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese businesses have invested $3.09 billion in 75 projects in Lao and Cambodia, within the area.

However, the results have yet to match development potential as well as the strategic relationship between the three countries, he stressed.

Dang Xuan Quang, deputy director of the Foreign Investment Department of the Ministry of Planning and Investment proposed that   the countries in the region need incentives to invest in less developed and disadvantaged provinces in the triangle area.
The three countries should coordinate closely in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and official development assistance (ODA) from other regions for major transport projects to connect 13 provinces in the Development Triangle Area with seaports in South Vietnam, he said.

These countries should work together in the development of mechanisms and policies to prioritize investment in this area, he added.

Thong Sisuvong, a high official from Laos said that Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam need to promote foreign investment into the region to create a driving force for regional development. The three countries should create favorable conditions and policies to encourage enterprises in other countries of Asia such as Korea, India, Japan, etc. to invest in the triangle.

He said these policies aim to take advantage of the strength and resources of each country, serving as the key to removing existing obstacles to invest in the region. 

The delegates suggested building large-scale commercial material supply areas to encourage and lure investments in production and for export product processing plants along arteries linking Vietnamese seaports to major world markets.

They also proposed that the governments of the three countries speed up investment licensing, especially for big projects on hydro-power, mining, cash crop planting, and infrastructure construction.

Source SGGP, Translated by Dan

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