December 29, 2011
The axis includes the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum and central coastal provinces of Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh of Vietnam, the Thai northeastern provinces of Ubon Ratchathani and Sisaket, and southern Lao provinces of Champasak, Sekong and Attapeu.
The eight provinces have their own advantages, such as the economic potential of the sea in Vietnamese provinces, and major crops and minerals in Thai and Lao provinces, which promise to play an important socio-economic development role in these provinces and the region in the near future.
At a recent conference in Kon Tum province, the provinces’ representatives agreed on a mechanism linking the eight provinces in line with the principles of mutual support and assistance for sustainable economic growth, and social progress on the basis of respect of independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
The provinces defined possible areas for cooperation, including developing the Phu Cua border economic cooperation area in Attapeu province of Laos and the Bo Y international border gate in Kon Tum province, Vietnam , into a border trade centre.
The three countries will join hands in planting industrial crops such as rubber, coffee, and building processing facilities in their provinces, as well as in conserving and developing forest resources.
They agreed to cooperate to study and survey the possibility of launching tourist routes and passenger exchanges.
In addition, they also agreed to cooperate and invest in construction of energy projects and electricity transmission networks and coordinate in mineral exploration and processing projects, as well as completing roads connecting localities and leading to seaports and major economic centres.
Provinces will research cooperative forms for personnel training, including language training, and consider the establishment of centres for information on trade and tourism.
Cao Khoa, Chairman of the Quang Ngai Provincial People’s Committee, highlighted the important role of provincial authorities and businesses in cooperative activities and for the success of the programme, saying that it is essential to combine the resolve of the eight provinces with support of the three countries’ governments and the active and effective participation of provincial business communities.
Bouasone Vongsongkhone , Vice Governor of Champasak p rovince, hailed the significance of the first meeting, saying that it offers an opportunity to enhance cooperation and exchange experience among the project’s provinces .
Nguyen Van Hung , Chairman of the Kon Tum Provincial People’s Committee, said that the meeting is only the initial step to carry out ideas on cooperation and mechanisms presented by the provinces.
Kon Tum in its capacity as host will continue to complete documents for the provinces to submit to their governments.
The cooperative documents are expected to be signed at the second conference scheduled to be held in Thailand in 2012.