As many as 150 Vietnamese and Chinese officials and experts gathered in Vietnam's mountainous northern province of Lao Cai on November 9 and 10 to discuss plans to facilitate development of the Red River basin.

At the fourth International Forum for the Red River Basin between Lao Cai province and China’s Yunnan province, participants discussed the establishment and development of the Kunming-Lao Cai-Hanoi-Hai Phong economic corridor - especially the challenges faced by communities along the corridor, and appropriate courses of action for the future.

They also discussed research projects on the current and future historical and cultural values of the Red River basin, as well as the development of sustainable tourism between the Honghe Prefecture of Yunnan province and Lao Cai province.

These activities aim to strengthen the understanding and comprehensive cooperation between Lao Cai and Yunnan provinces, fostering the Vietnam-China friendship, they said.

The forum heard scientists and scholars from prestigious Vietnamese and Chinese universities and institutes speaking on economic-trade cooperation, the Hai Phong-Kunming railway and tourism development, the distinctive cultures of the two countries’ ethnic groups, and Vietnam-China friendship exchanges.

The scientists highlighted the important role that Lao Cai and Yunnan are playing in the economic and cultural exchange between Vietnam ’s northern delta and China ’s south-western region.

The long history of the Red River basin ’s socio-economic development has helped the scholars make in-depth studies of the region’s culture, education and social development in the basin, they said.

It has also severed as a driving force for boosting the basin’s socio-economic development in regional and international integration, especially the two nations’ joint programme “Two Corridors, One Economic Belt”, they added.

According to Tran Huu Son, Director of the Lao Cai provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Red River basin economic and cultural cooperation has focused on sustainable development and harmony between the natural environment and the interests of all parties concerned.

After the biennial forum, the participants will enjoy fact-finding tours of Bac Ha and Bao Yen tourist sites in Lao Cai and Kaiyuan city of Yunnan.-VNA