HCM CITY — The seventh meeting on co-operation and development between the border provinces of Cambodia and Viet Nam began yesterday in HCM City, co-chaired by Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh and Cambodian Deputy Primer Minister Sar Kheng.
At the meeting, the two sides praised each other's co-operative efforts between ministries and local authorities in border provinces, particularly in implementing agreements on safety and security, improvement of socio-economic activities and the maintaining of good friendships between the border provinces.
The two countries also pledged to create more favourable conditions in promoting co-operation and friendship among localities.
Despite the serious impact from the global downturn, trade relations between Viet Nam and Cambodia maintained growth with turnover of US$2.8 billion last year, an increase of 54 per cent in comparison with 2010.
For the next five years, the two countries have targeted to reach $5 billion in trade by providing tax privileges for each partner's commodities; simplifying customs procedures; opening bank branches on the border; strengthening information exchange; implementing bilateral memoranda on market watches and organising annual conferences on trade development and co-operation between the border provinces of Cambodia and Viet Nam.
Trade fairs and exhibitions, conferences and business forums have been encouraged to organise on a regular basis.
The master plan for markets along the border during the 2010-2020 period should be completed soon and pilot projects for the border markets will be completed this year.
Regulations to manage the border markets should be researched, along with solutions to stop smuggling and trade fraud.
Cambodia praised Vietnamese investment projects in the country and pledged to conduct research on how it could give Viet Nam more incentives for investment in the border area, especially for hydropower projects.
In the near future, more attention will be paid to transport infrastructure in order to create a good road system linking all economic zones and markets at the border gate.
The master plan to link transport between border provinces will be finished soon.
The two sides also pledged to sign a financial memorandum to build the Cambodian part of the Long Binh – Chary Thom bridge project.
Co-operation in agriculture, forestry and marine sectors will be promoted by exchanging experiences, techniques and information, and providing high-yield animal breed and plant seed.
Officials will also strengthen animal quarantine, insect and disease control and illegal trade in animals and wood.
To celebrate "Year of Viet Nam -Cambodia Friendship 2012", there will be cultural, art and sports exchanges.
Work on defining the landmarks for the border line between the two countries will continue as well.
The two sides promised to speed up the remaining work for a peaceful, friendly, co-operative and developed border.
Co-operation to maintain security and order inside each nation as well as the border area have also achieved good results.
The two countries also pledged not to allow any of their forces to invade and violate the other's territory.
To continue the fight against illegal immigration and inter-continental crimes, the border will maintain their joint patrols, support each other in securing orders, and hold regular meetings.
In addition, local authorities will educate border residents about border regulations and take part in the search for bodies of Vietnamese solders who died in Cambodia.
During the meeting, the Cambodian side appraised and thanked the medical check-ups that are regularly given by Vietnamese doctors in their country.
The eighth meeting on co-operation and development between border provinces of Cambodia and Viet Nam will be held in Cambodia in 2013. — VNS