Nghe An province looks to augment trade, tourism ties with Laos hinh anh 1An aerial view of Cua Lo Beach, a popular tourist destination in Nghe An province (Photo: VNA)

Nghe An (VNA) – The potential of and ways to promote trade and tourism between Nghe An and Laos were discussed at a seminar in Vinh city of the Vietnamese central province on November 15.

Deputy Director of Nghe An’s Department of Industry and Trade Vo Thi An said Laos has continually been among the top 10 trade partners of the province. In 2018, trade between Nghe An and Laos reached 23.27 million USD, with exports to Laos mainly building materials, aquatic products and consumer goods, and imports from the neighbouring country mostly timber, fruits, vegetables and plaster.

Meanwhile, about 90 enterprises of Nghe An have invested over 200 million USD in projects in Laos, she noted.

She proposed that to further reinforce trade links, the Vietnamese and Lao governments, ministries, sectors and the People’s Committee of Nghe An should step up the signing and implementation of cooperation deals between the two countries and their provinces, thus creating a favourable legal corridor for business partnerships between Vietnamese and Lao firms.

Additionally, state agencies should press on with the plan on building an expressway linking Hanoi and Vientiane capitals that will run through Thanh Thuy Border Gate of Nghe An to create a driving force for economic connectivity among Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

An also called for funding for the upgrade of markets and infrastructure at Vietnam-Laos border gates, including those in Nghe An.

At the seminar, First Secretary of the Laos Embassy in Vietnam May Kham Kheua noted his country has licensed 409 projects worth some 4.1 billion USD of Vietnamese businesses, making Vietnam the third biggest foreign investor there, following China and Thailand.

Laos has stepped up the attraction of direct investment. Besides, relevant agencies of both countries have also worked to deal with difficulties and obstacles facing Vietnamese businesses in Laos, he said.

In the recent past, to boost tourism links with Laos, Nghe An has organised several events to introduce its tourism potential in Vientiane. Its travel agencies have also enhanced cooperation with partners in Lao provinces to provide tours from Nghe An to Bolikhamxay, Khammoune, Vientiane, Xiangkhouang and Luang Prabang of Laos and vice versa. Tours along roads linking the two countries have also been offered to tourists.

Among Vietnamese localities, Nghe An shares the longest borderline with Laos – 468km, equivalent to 20 percent of the total length, with four border gates and many crossings connecting with Xiangkhouang, Houaphanh and Bolikhamxay provinces of Laos./.