ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Experts tell Laos, VN, Cambodia to study border issues
Delegates from Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos discussed the ASEAN Economic Community's effects on transnational natural resources at an annual international conference on cross-border economic co-operation.
Speaking at the meeting in Da Lat, Professor Nguyen Xuan Thang, chairman of the Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), said Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia should research and discuss cross-border economic co-operation and the plan for combining police forces.
The work would help the three countries integrate the area and resolve problems related to competitive capacity, poverty reduction and socio-economic inequality.
Professor Chaleune Yiapaoheu, chairman of the Lao National Institute of Social Sciences, said that to ensure effective cross-border economic co-operation, the three countries should include specific regulations and work to resolve obstacles such as collecting fees at international border gates.
Experts at the conference said they believed the biggest challenge was that ASEAN's commitment to circulating goods for free could turn countries without developed goods manufacturing such as Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia into consumers of developed ASEAN countries' goods, instead of equal exchange.
Nguyen Huy Hoang of the VASS said that with the foundation of the ASEAN Economic Community the three countries' investments could face combativeness from other ASEAN countries that have advantages in technology.
Some researchers emphasised the importance of the Mekong River in the three countries' economic co-operation.
Chheng Vannarith and Som Somuny from the Royal Academy of Cambodia agreed that cross-border natural resources must be exploited effectively and mustn't hurt the Mekong River valley. — VNS
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