Do Nhat Hoang, Director of the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said Vietnam has 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.
Hoang asked relevant ministries and agencies in the three countries to refine legal regulations on business and investment, as also procedures regarding taxation, customs and labor, and prioritize transport infrastructure investment.
Vietnam has so far invested US$2 billion in 65 projects in Laos, mostly
in agriculture and rubber production.
Huynh Anh Minh, Vice Chairman of the Binh Phuoc People’s Committee, said that the Vietnamese provinces in the Cambodia-Laos-Viet Nam (CLV) Development Triangle Area have received great attention from local businesses.
So far, 37 Vietnamese enterprises have invested in projects worth over $1 billion in these provinces, with Binh Phuoc, 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.
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 Viet 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 has also prospered, he added.
However, participants also agreed that trade development in the triangle area remains modest and unsynchronized, failing to match the potential for strategic co-operation between the three countries.
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.
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.
Participants also proposed 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.
The CLV Development Triangle Area covers four Cambodian provinces (Ratanakiri, Stung Treng, Mondulkiri and Kratie), four Lao provinces (Attapeu, Salavan, Sekong and Champasak), and five Vietnamese provinces (Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Binh Phuoc).