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Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam Expand Cooperation

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The leaders of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam (CLV) have agreed to expand their economic cooperation through their joint territorial areas to accelerate the development of the three neighbours.

The agreement was reached yesterday at the 9th CLV Development Triangle Area (DTA) Summit in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith led the Lao delegation attending the summit, which the ministry said was convened successfully.

Prime Minister Thongloun, his Cambodian counterpart Samdech Hun Sen and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen XuanPhuc signed a joint statement at the summit vowing to continue shared efforts to maintain peace, stability and security in the designated 13-province Development Triangle Area.

The DTA covers four Cambodian provinces (Ratanakiri, Stung Treng, Mondulkiri and Kratie), four Lao provinces (Attapeu, Saravan, Xekong and Champassak), and five Vietnamese provinces (Kon Tum, Gia Lai, DakLak, DakNong and BinhPhuoc).

The leaders agreed to work together to bolster socio-economic development in order to create more jobs, improve the livelihoods of their peoples and eliminate poverty in the 144,600-square-kilometre DTA which is home to about 6.7 million people.

Following their talks, the representatives of the three governments inked a cooperation agreement to promote and facilitate trade and investment in the DTA and increase its value.

In pursuit of this goal, the countries pledged to promote trading, create conditions favourable for business operations, and facilitate goods transport and people-to-people visits.

In this regard, the leaders approved 15 priority projects to enhance their cooperation.

During the summit, the leaders reviewed the progress made in implementing the DTA socio-economic development master plan and agreements they reached at the last summit held in 2014 in Vientiane.

Established in 1999, the CLV DTA aims to strengthen and promote comprehensive economic cooperation and good friendship between the three countries.

As of 2013, the average GDP in the Development Triangle Area had grown by 10 percent annually and GDP per capita was recorded at US$1,340.

The Lao foreign ministry said the DTA’s cooperation frameworks had brought a number of benefits to Laos. Cooperation projects under frameworks carried out over past years have seen the improvement of road connectivity in the region.

In Laos, schools, hospitals and other essential facilities have been built using funds provided by the government and its development partners, notably Japan, as well as investment by the private sector.

Previous reports showed that the government of Japan had provided financial assistance to Laos amounting to more than 60.3 billion kip for various projects.

The Japan-funded projects have seen the construction of eight primary schools, a hospital, four dispensaries, and improvement of the 20km 1H road linking Thateng district in Xekong province to Saravan province among others.

In addition, the government of Vietnam has extended significant assistance to Laos for human resource development.

Source: Vientiane Times