Twenty-five Thai and Vietnamese officials headed by the Royal Consul General in HCM City visited southern Vietnam on May 20 on their way to Bangkok to promote tourism activities.

Accompanied by Vietnamese and Thai media, the officials aim to promote the sustainability of tourism in the ASEAN Economic Community through 2015.

The Thai Royal Consul General in HCM City , Panpimon Suwannapongse, traveled with Pham Thanh Tuoi, Vice-Chairman of the Can Tho city People’s Committee and the Chairman of the Ca Mau Province People’s Committee.

Leaders of other localities in the Mekong Delta along the tourism economic corridor were also present.

The corridor is located along coastal route R10 that connects the Trat province of Thailand to the border of Cambodia through Koh Kong.

It goes along the Thai coastline to Sre Ambel, Kampot and Kep of Cambodia, and then links to the border through Ha Tinh and ends at southernmost Ca Mau province in Vietnam .

Thailand considers the southern coastal route linking Cambodia and Vietnam to be important for economic cooperation and development.

Beginning from HCM City , the officials stopped at Can Tho, Ca Mau and Kien Giang province. They then plan to visit Sihanoukville and Koh Kong in Cambodia on their way to other stops.

At each province in both countries, the participants will learn about the area’s economic potential and opportunities.

The Gross Domestic Product of the five provinces combined is one fifth of Thai GDP.

Thailand also wants to open a sea route from the Thailand Gulf to Vietnam ’s Ca Mau province.

According to an official from Thai Trade Centre in HCM City , trade volume between the two countries has increased 20 percent each year in recent years. Thai investment in Vietnam ranks 10th among other countries.

Thailand also wants to promote investment in small- and medium-sized enterprises in Vietnam , especially in the Mekong Delta’s agriculture sector fishery and food processing.

Thai investment is now mostly for infrastructure for industrial zones, new urban centres and hotels, and facilities for tourism and industry in southeast Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces, and HCM City and Hanoi.

With further investment along the corridor, Ca Mau is expected to become an important economic area in the Mekong Delta and a business gate for the ASEAN member nations.-VNA