Neighbours seek ways to improve economic ties

Senior officials from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV) met in Vientiane yesterday to discuss a co-operation mechanism to realise the agreements reached at the 5th CLMV Summit in Cambodia last year.

Present at the second CLMV Economic Ministers Meeting were Vietnamese Industry and Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang, the Cambodian Minister of Commerce, the Lao Minister of Industry and Trade, the Myanmar Ambassador to Laos, and a number of officials from the four nations and the ASEAN Secretariat.

Participants reviewed the results of economic and trade co-operation among the four countries since the first meeting which took place in Da Nang in August last year.

They debated measures to embark on four major co-operation directions as agreed upon at the first meeting, namely trade, investment, human resources development and policy co-ordination. These measures are aimed at narrowing the development gap between the four countries and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The officials adopted a 16-point plan of action and put forth an array of specific measures to step up economic and commercial co-operation among the four nations this year.

They agreed to foster bilateral trade, step up trade promotions, and establish a mechanism for exchanging information about policies and regulations on trade and investment of each nation.

A focus will also be placed on developing border economic zones, sharing experiences in market management, developing human resources and making concerted efforts to seek assistance from development partners and negotiate regional trade pacts.

Viet Nam’s total trade turnover with Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar has grown steadily in recent years, reaching almost US$2.5 billion last year, a year-on-year rise of 33.6 per cent. Vietnamese businesses have invested in about 270 projects with a combined registered capital of nearly $5 billion in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

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