Attapeu province: Lao business operators want Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam (CLV) to offer a single visa to foreign tourists as they believe a simpler immigration procedure will boost tourism development in the Indochina region.
Mr Chinda Vongsouly.
Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry board member Mr Chinda Vongsouly raised the issue at the 6th Conference on Promotion of Trade, Investment and Tourism on Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam Development Triangle Zone held in Attapeu capital on Wednesday.
“A single visa for CLV should be made available, to promote the marketing concept of visiting the three countries as one destination,” he said at the one-day conference, which was attended by some 100 policymakers from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
The three countries have agreed to relax immigration restrictions but only residents of the 13 provinces in the Development Triangle Zone benefit from the policy. People from other areas and countries still need separate visas from Cambodia Laos and Vietnam to enter the three countries.
Mr Chinda said the three Indochina countries also need to invest in the construction and development of tourism infrastructure, such as eco-tourism and cultural and historical tourism sites, so as to attract a greater number of local and international tourists.
Mr Chinda, who is also President of the Champassak Chamber of Industry and Commerce, said the three Indochina countries also need to accelerate the upgrade of connecting roads to make it easier for tourists and businesspeople to travel and transport goods within the CLV Development Triangle Zone.
To facilitate border trade in the Indochina countries, business operators need a riep-kip-dong money exchange service to make transactions easier.
At present, most trade in the border areas is made possible through the US dollar.
Mr Chinda called on the respective governments to give more opportunities to business leaders from the three Indochina countries to meet, engage in business matching and attend trade fairs so they can cooperate and share business experiences.
To boost cooperation in agriculture and industry, Lao business operators suggested that CLV countries implement contract farming initiatives so that farmers can access finance, technical support and ready markets.
Contract farming would also ensure a sufficient supply of agricultural produce for the processing industry, he said, adding that Laos has the potential to grow maize, cassava, cabbages and fruit in large quantities.
Mr Chinda said that one of the main issues the Indochina countries need to address is the standard of agricultural produce. This could best be done by teaming up with international agencies to establish sanitary and phytosanitary measures.
He said CLV countries also need to improve human resource cooperation, particularly in relation to technical skills, agro-industry, logistics and foreign trade.