Viet Nam and Laos signed a memorandum of understanding at the 7th conference for co-operation in the development of cross-border trade in central Thanh Hoa Province yesterday.
The conference also asked for the issue of regulations and policies to foster economic development on the Viet Nam-Laos border and the completion of administrative reform at border gates to allow the transit of third-country goods.
The reform would accord with the agreement among the Greater-Mekong – Sub region countries – Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam – to promote the freer flow of people and goods.
Industry and Trade Ministry officials from both Viet Nam and Laos continued to propose that their governments assess the possibility of establishing border trade zones and the upgrading of some auxiliary border gates.
They also agreed to recommend that government incentives be introduced for the eight Lao, Thai and Vietnamese provinces that share Highways 8 and 12.
The officials pledged to quickly finish a plan for the development of a network of border markets and trade between Viet Nam and Laos by 2020.
Viet Nam and Laos share a border of more than 2,000km.
Viet Nam's Industry and Trade Ministry reports that bilateral trade reached US$211 million to June 30 and is expected to total $470 million for the year, up 12 per cent against 2009.
The figure meets 47 per cent of the target the two governments set for 2010. Bilateral trade is expected to total more than $2 billion by 2015 with Lao exports to Viet Nam worth $1.3 billion and Viet Nam's exports to Laos $1 billion.
Conference participants shared their knowledge of border-trade management and co-operation and proposed ways to ensure its development was sustainable.
They agreed to increase co-operation in the study of the border's economic potential and prioritise projects to develop trade.
It was also agreed that enterprises in both counters should enhance their co-operation to produce commodities for export to third countries and promote the transit of goods via their border gates. — VNS