Vietnam tourism comes first in economic mix
Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia have agreed to develop tourism to spearhead economic growth and reduce poverty. The move is expected to be of particular help to ethnic minorities.
The agreement included the creation of "favourable conditions" for the geographical triangle that includes 10 border provinces in the three countries.
It was reached at a third meeting addressing trade, investment and tourism promotion in the Development Triangle held in Champassak, Laos, yesterday.
Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc joined Lao Minister of Planning and Investment Soulivong Daravong and Cambodian Secretary General of the Development Council Soun Sitthy in chairing the meeting.
The talks brought together state officials and businesspeople from the 10 border localities in the Development Triangle.
Minister Phuc described the policy of the three countries to develop their shared triangle as one that had made large contributions to promoting each country's socio-economic growth and reinforcing their friendship.
Following second meeting of its kind in February this year, the three countries had taken initiatives to spur the development of the triangle. In the meantime, mechanisms and policies to facilitate the cross-border flow of people and commodities, investment and trade were being discussed, Minister Phuc added.
At yesterday's meeting, the participants focused on assessing what had been done since the two previous meetings and discussed ways to solve difficulties that had a risen in the process.
Each nation's representatives explained their own countries policies, investment environments and related legal regulations in addition to the potentials and priorities of the localities located in the development triangle.
Established in 2004 by the three prime ministers, the Development Triangle comprises Vietnam's Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) provinces of Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Dak Lak and Dak Nong, Laos', provinces of Attapeu, Sekong and Saravanh, and the Cambodian provinces of Rattanakiri, Strungstreng and Moldonkiri.
The three governments have high hopes of promoting development of the region, which has been highly evaluated for its great potential in hydro-power, mining, industrial crop growing and processing and tourism.
It is hoped the measures will improve the living conditions of local people, the majority of whom belong to ethnic minorities.
(Source: Viet Nam News, URL:http://english.vietnamnet.vn/travel/2008/09/805121/)
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