Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Dong Thap develops border zones


HCM CITY — Over the past two years, the development of border gate economic zones in Dong Thap Province has boosted trade between Viet Nam and Cambodia.

Provincial authorities sank VND33 billion (US$2 million) in developing the infrastructure of Thuong Phuoc Border Gate Economic Zone in Hong Ngu District to lure foreign and domestic investment.

Officials also allocated VND32 billion (US$1.9 million) of the province’s budget to expedite construction of a marketplace and shopping centres in Dinh Ba Border Gate Economic Zone in Tan Hong District to step up trade in the areas bordering Cambodia.

Other infrastructure projects designed to develop border gate economic zones were also given priority investment. Officials at State and provincial levels joined forces to speed up road and marketplace construction and ferry landing upgrades to facilitate travel to the zones.

Incentive policies on land, tax and licensing procedures were developed by provincial authorities to get domestic and overseas investors to set up shop at both Thuong Phuoc and Dinh Ba border economic zones.

Land clearance and compensation were expedited to make room for public utility projects like animal quarantine check posts to prevent outbreaks of bird flu or blue ear pig disease as well as marketplaces and health clinics.

Dong Thap provincial authorities requested the Central Government upgrade So Thuong and Thong Binh secondary border gates into primary border gates to boost cargo-handling capabilities and expand the local border gate economic zones by 194 sq km to a total area of 315.5 sq. km.

To this end, the Central Government greenlit the construction of a 28km-long road linking the Dinh Ba Border Gate Economic Zone with the Trans-Asia (Cambodia) Highway. The project is ongoing and scheduled for completion in 2010.

Meanwhile, Dong Thap provincial authorities established the Hong Ngu Economic Zone to stimulate the border economy in Viet Nam’s southwest and the entire Mekong Delta region.
Local officials there are directing investments towards building the infrastructure of two border economic zones, opening border markets and improving entry-exit procedures to facilitate the flow of people and cargo across the border. — VNS

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