Monday, 10 November 2008

Forum wants more border gates


HA NOI — ACMECS member countries should open more border gates, set up special trade areas and invest more in infrastructure development in order to create more favourable conditions for businesses.

This was agreed at a meeting of about 350 representatives from international organisations and investors from ACMECS nations (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam) who attended a business forum held on the sidelines of the main ACMECS meeting here yesterday.

The forum provided a good opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises to establish partnerships inside and outside of ACMECS.

Deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hoang Van Dung said that businesses had an important role to play within ACMECS because they helped build co-operative strategies in the region.

However, he said business people were faced with difficulties caused by different levels of development among ACMECS member countries.

For instance, he said Vietnamese enterprises lacked information, human resources still did not meet demands and administrative and customs procedures were complicated.

Dung said it was a good sign that Vietnamese enterprises had started to invest in regional countries. He proposed ACMECS cards be issued between regional countries to create favourable conditions for business people in travel and exchange.

A representative of Vietnamese businesses, Ho Huy, the chairman of the Management Council and general director of Mai Linh Taxi Company, said he hoped more Vietnamese enterprises would follow Mai Linh and invest in other ACMECS countries.

At present, the taxi company transports 100-300 clients from Viet Nam to Cambodia each year - and vice versa. Mai Linh expects to expand its operations to Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.

He said a problem was that customs clearance between countries still took a long time. Huy hoped that, via the forum, the problems would be soon solved.

Oknha Kith Meng, chairman of Cambodia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that ACMECS member countries should increase tourism co-operation to make full use of regional advantages.

He said it was necessary to have an action plan to build trans-national tours through border gates.

Meng’s view was shared by Oudet Souvannavong, the deputy chairman of Laos’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who said a key issue of the ACMECS framework was to boost economic co-operation and facilitate the transport of goods via border gates.

The ACMECS Business Forum, the first of its kind, provided a venue for businesses from five ACMECS members to meet, discuss and make proposals and initiatives.

All business initiatives were later reported to the leaders of ACMECS member countries at a dialogue between ACMECS senior leaders and enterprises at the National Convention Centre in Ha Noi. — VNS

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