Regional progress discussed during Asean Summit

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Hun Sen meet in Bangkok. AKP

Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam have agreed to work together and develop the CLV Development Triangle Area, a region between the three countries.

According to a government statement yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen met with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the sidelines of the 34th Asean Summit in Bangkok to discuss the issue of economic development in the hub.

It said the three leaders highly valued the CLV DTA and praised an inter-government working group for seeking funds to develop the area.

“[The three leaders] exchanged views and discussed bilateral and multilateral issues in the region and the world, especially the development of the CLV DTA, where Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam have received little development,” it said.

“[The working group] sought funds from everywhere to develop and change the face of the CLV DTA,” it added. “It changed the area where poor people are living into a connected area, especially infrastructure connectivity.”

CLV DTA was established in 1999 and initially included Vietnam’s Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Dak Nong provinces, Laos’ Sekong, Attapeu and Saravan provinces, and Cambodia’s Stung Treng, Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri provinces.

In 2009, the three countries agreed to include Vietnam’s Binh Phuoc province, Cambodia’s Kratie province and Laos’ Champasak province.

According to the government statement, “Mr Hun Sen and his counterparts vowed to work together to create a new economic hub for the three countries with the goal of promoting livelihoods of people in the three countries.”

According to state-run Vietnam News Agency, the three leaders agreed to soon draft a blueprint to connect their economies.

“They underlined the importance of attracting financial and technical resources for sub-regional projects,” VNA said. “They also agreed to strengthen cooperative ties to maintain border security, promote trade and investments and border connectivity, while affirming the resolve to build the shared borders into areas of peace, friendship and development.”

It added that Mr Nguyen affirmed that Vietnam will continue to assist Laos and Cambodia in manpower training and sharing its experience in socio-economic management and development.

In March, Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said that last year Vietnam had invested in 39 projects in Kratie worth $983 million, noting that the biggest projects were in agriculture and agro-industry.

Mr Sorasak also urged Laos to consider signing the double taxation avoidance agreement with Cambodia, as Vietnam had already done so with Cambodia last year.

Mr Sorasak said in order to promote trade among Asean member states, as well as within the CLV DTA, the ministry is allowing border provinces to issue the form needed to obtain certificates of origin.

“I would like to ask Laos to consider starting negotiations for a similar agreement with Cambodia to promote investment between the two countries,” he said.

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