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CLV Triangle trade still below potential: forum

Update: December, 19/2017 - 09:00
Workers produce electronics engine for export purposes to Cambodia, Laos and South Africa at the Toàn Phát Mechanic Electric Technology Company Limited in the Northern Hải Dương Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh – TTXVN
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Trade development in the Cambodia-Laos-Việt Nam (CLV) Development Triangle Area remains modest and unsynchronised, failing to match the potential for strategic co-operation between the three countries, speakers said at a forum yesterday.

The 11th Trade and Tourism Promotion Forum of the CLV Development Triangle Area was held in the southern province of Bình Phước. It was among a series of events held under the framework of the CLV joint co-ordination committee to strengthen trilateral solidarity and traditional friendship.

The forum served as a platform for the three countries’ policymakers to review the promotion of trade, investment and tourism in the area, disseminate new policies designed for their businesses and receive enterprises’ proposals.

A representative from the Council for the Development of Cambodia said despite rapid growth, the socio-economic situation and infrastructure in the Triangle Area have not been on par with its development potential.

Participants agreed that commercial activities of the CLV Development Triangle Area still remained scattered and mainly took place in the border-gate economic zones.

Shortcomings can also be seen in incentives, overlapping and inconsistent import-export customs procedures, causing losses for investors, they said.

Đỗ Nhất Hoàng, Director of the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said Việt Nam had so far invested US$3.6 billion in 113 projects in the area, including $1.6 billion in 48 projects in Cambodia and nearly $2 billion in 65 projects in Laos, mostly in agriculture and rubber production.

Hoàng asked relevant ministries and agencies in the three countries to refine legal regulations on business and investment, as also procedures regarding taxation, customs and labour, and prioritise transport infrastructure investment.

A Lao representative said the forum was a chance to boost economic growth and infrastructure development in each country and the region as a whole.

He said two-way trade between Laos and Việt Nam topped $800 million last year and surpassed $500 million in the first half of this year, up 14 per cent annually. Meanwhile, trade between Laos and Cambodia had also prospered, he added.

The CLV Development Triangle Area covers four Cambodian provinces (Ratanakiri, Stung Treng, Mondulkiri, Kratie), four Lao provinces (Attapeu, Salavan, Sekong, Champasak), and five Vietnamese provinces (Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Đắk Lắk, Đắk Nông, Bình Phước).

Deputy Chairman of the Bình Phước People’s Committee, Huỳnh Anh Minh, said that the Vietnamese provinces in the triangle area had received great attention from local businesses.

So far, 37 Vietnamese enterprises have invested in projecs worth over $1 billion in five provinces of Việt Nam, with Bình Phước, attracting $148 million.

Representatives from 13 regional provinces introduced potential and business opportunities to investors at the forum. They wanted more attention paid to the training of tour guides with good command of foreign languages, and to making border areas into tourism-friendly destinations.

Forum participants also agreed that their Governments need to provide optimal mechanisms and policies for businesses.

The three countries should also use their cultural similarities, time-tested friendship, natural resource advantages and tourism potential to attract more investment from the private sector, they said.

Among proposals made at the forum were the overhauling of agreements and legal documents signed by the three countries, upgrading infrastructure at national and international border gates, and improving the quality of human resources. — VNS

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