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Bid to raise trade along east border

Bid to raise trade along east border

THE Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Laotian Assemblies have jointly announced a bid to boost trade and investment at the border between the three countries.

The announcement followed a 2004 master plan for the triangular border area, and aims to develop the regions commerce to its “fullest strength”, Cambodian National Assembly Committee of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Information and Propaganda chairman Chheang Vun said yesterday.

Representatives agreed to investigate joint passports for regional residents and increase border crossings, during a meeting held in Kratie province late last week.

The three countries also pledged to encourage private business associations and increase investment and trade activities among the respective border provinces, according to a written announcement signed by each country’s representatives.

“We hope the area where the three countries border will become more developed soon,” Chheang Vun said yesterday.

Thirteen provinces are considered part of the region slated for economic development. They include Cambodia’s Ratanakkiri, Mondulkkiri, Steung Treng, and Kratie provinces, along with four provinces in Laos and five in Vietnam.

Japan has previously pledged some US$20 million to develop the region, with $7.5 million each given to Cambodia and Laos, $3.5 million to Vietnam, and the remainder to regional infrastructure projects.

Cambodia Institute for Development Study President Kang Chandararoth said yesterday that the region had unrealised potential, especially in mining and ecotourism sectors.

Chheang Vun said that adjustments to the master plan would be handed to the three countries’ respective prime ministers to examine before a meeting in November.

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