Trade and investment links between Vietnam and Laos have been enhanced over the last three years thanks to the bilateral cross-border trade agreement, heard a meeting in the central province of Quang Tri on July 26.
Lorries pass the Lao Bao International Border Gate in Quang Tri province, which borders Laos (Photo: VNA)
The event, held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, aimed to review three years of the implementation of the deal, inked between the Vietnamese and Lao governments in 2015.
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) of Vietnam, Vietnamese investors have poured 5.1 billion USD into 292 projects in Laos, including 110 worth 2.7 billion USD in the 10 Lao provinces bordering Vietnam.
Those projects have greatly contributed to local growth and generated socio-economic benefits, thereby assisting the Lao Government’s efforts to ensure social security and reduce poverty.
Meanwhile, trade between the two countries rose by about 13 percent annually between 2015 and 2018 to over 1.03 billion USD in 2018, up 11.9 percent year on year. The figure is estimated at 594 million USD in the first half of 2019, up 14 percent, data of the General Department of Vietnam Customs show.
Thirty-six markets have been built along the shared border, which currently houses eight international border gates, seven main border gates, 18 auxiliary ones, and eight border gate economic zones.
These ports of entry and economic zones have been developing stably, thus creating a driving force for economic activities, including trade, services and investment, and improving the living standards of both countries’ border residents, the MPI noted.
At the meeting, representatives of border provinces and businesses also pointed out several problems in the agreement implementation, and proposed solutions.
Vietnam and Laos share a border of 2,337km that runs across 10 Vietnamese provinces and 10 Lao provinces.