Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia focus on development triangle

A conference on trade, investment and tourism for the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam development triangle took place in the central highland province of Kon Tum yesterday, December 5.

More than 400 domestic and foreign businesses participated in the conference.

Conference on trade, investment and tourism for the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam development triangle in Kon Tum.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Laos, and Vietnam and Cambodia is estimated to reach a combined total of more than US$4 billion this year.

Vietnam is investing in 50 projects worth close to $1.7 billion in Laos, and 25 projects valued at $1.5 billion in Cambodia.

At the conference, Pham Thi Hong Thanh, deputy head of the Department of Asia-Pacific Market under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, pointed out the obstacles faced by business circles of the three countries such as transport, lending requirements and low consumer demand.

Youn Heng, director of the Department of Evaluation and Incentives under the Cambodian Council for Development, said his country will boost investment in hydropower, thermal power and the power transmission network in the future.

Besides, firms are facing a workforce shortage in Laos and are challenged by the distance between Ho Chi Minh City and Champassak Province. Multinational trade traffic through the south of Laos via northeast Cambodia to the southern provinces of Vietnam is slow.

Cao Viet Sinh, Vietnam’s deputy minister of Planning and Investment, said in future, ministries and agencies of the three countries need to accelerate the construction and completion of the investment and business law; policies relating to taxes, customs, labor; administrative procedures relating to licenses, investment, business--ensuring transparency, the coherence from the central to local levels in order to reduce the time, costs for investors, improve the competitiveness of enterprises.

Cao Viet Sinh, deputy minister of Planning and Investment, stressed that to exploit the regions potential one needs to improve infrastructure, offer incentives to encourage the participation of all economic sectors, and accelerate the implementation of the triangle’s development master plan approved by leaders of the three governments.

The countries also need to complete the investment and business legal framework, policies on tax, customs and labor, and administrative procedures to ensure transparency and synchronicity at all levels of governance from central to grassroots level, Sinh added.

The Cambodia–Laos–Vietnam development triangle comprises of 13 border provinces of the three countries. Initiated by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Vientiane in 1999, the area was established to enhance solidarity and cooperation for socio-economic development, poverty reduction and security in the region.

Meanwhile a trade fair was organized in the central highland province of Kon Tum where handmade crafts by artisans from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were on exhibit.

The fair opened on December 4 and brought together 700 businesses that are displaying their high-quality products in 360 stalls.

The fair is part of a series of events to herald the 8th Conference of the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia Triangle Development Coordinating Committee and the 100th anniversary of Kon Tum Province (February 9, 1913).

Source SGGPOL, Translated by Dan

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