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More thanOpportunities for Development Triangle Area 400 foreign delegates examined ways to promote investment, trade and tourism in the region at a conference in Kon Tum province on December 5.

Established in 1999, the Development Triangle Area spans 13 provinces of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.Delegates acknowledged that Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia have maintained steady economic growth despite the global economic recession, with their trilateral trade estimated to reach more than US$4 billion this year.

Laos and Cambodia are Vietnam’s largest investment destinations, accounting for more than 50 percent of offshore projects invested in by Vietnamese businesses, in both value and volume.

Vietnamese businesses have injected nearly US$1.7 billion into 50 projects in Laos, and nearly US$1.5 billion into 25 projects in Cambodia.

Large farms of industrial crops such as coffee and rubber trees have been developed, covering hundreds of thousands of hectares, giving the Development Triangle Area a vast facelift in recent years.

However, there remain obstacles to development in the region. Pham Thi Hong Thanh, an official from the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, pointed out difficulties such as transportation infrastructure, a lack of product diversification, low purchasing power and poor self-sufficiency as major obstacles to regional development.

Youn Heng, an assistant to the Cambodian Prime Minister, cited power shortages as a major difficulty facing both the government and investors. He confirmed the Cambodian government’s resolve to increase investment in hydro and thermal power generation and power transmission systems in the near future.

To fully tap regional potential, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Cao Viet Sinh recommended that concerned parties should upgrade and perfect infrastructure by introducing special incentives to encourage economic sectors to invest in projects that are most essential.

He said they still need to finalise laws and policies on investment, business, tax, customs, labour, as well as related administrative procedures to ensure transparency and consistency, he said.

Sinh added that they need to speed up the implementation of the masterplan on the Development Triangle Area that was approved by the three governments.

The Development Triangle Area was established as an initiative of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at a tripartite meeting of the Prime Ministers of the three countries in Vientiane in 1999. It aims to increase solidarity and cooperation between the participants in order to boost socio-economic development, reduce poverty and maintain national security stability across the region.


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