Updated : Thu, December 6, 2012,
The seventh investment–trade–tourism promotion conference for the Cambodia–Laos–Vietnam development triangle took place in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum on December 5.
The event attracted the participation of representatives from over 400 domestic and foreign businesses.
Two-way trade between Vietnam and Laos, and Vietnam and Cambodia is estimated to reach a combined total of over 4 billion USD this year.
Vietnam is investing in 50 projects worth close to 1.7 billion USD in Laos, and 25 projects valued at 1.5 billion USD in Cambodia.
At the event, Pham Thi Hong Thanh, deputy head of the Asia-Pacific Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, highlighted obstacles faced by businesses, including 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 the northeast of Cambodia to the southern provinces of Vietnam is slow.
To utilise the region’s potential, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Cao Viet Sinh stressed the need 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 labour, and administrative procedures to ensure transparency and synchronicity in all levels of governance from central to grassroots, Sinh added.
The Cambodia–Laos–Vietnam development triangle comprises 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.