The 16th conference of the nine provinces through which Highways 8 and 12 run in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand got underway in central Nghe An province on December 26.

The event saw the participation of representatives of the Lao and Thai embassies in Vietnam, officials of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, provincial leaders, and representatives of trade and investment promotion centers.

Delegates reported that their respective provinces over the past years have actively joined hands to carry out plans and programmes signed in the previous conference in an effective manner. Thanks to that, a number of remarkable achievements have been recorded in a wide range of areas such as economy, trade, culture, education, sports and tourism.

Those encouraging results have contributed to fostering friendship and cooperation between the three countries for peace, stability and development in the Mekong Sub-region and the East-West Economic Corridor.

Participants, however, shared the same views that the cooperation outcomes have not matched potential and strength of each province due to differences in legal and administrative procedures and economic development conditions.

Looking to the future cooperation, they agreed to continue pushing up cooperation in all fields, especially in investment, manufacturing and business, services, trade, tourism and cultural exchanges.

On the sidelines of the conference, an international trade fair was held with over 300 booths from businesses from the nine provinces, namely Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh of Vietnam; Bolikhamxay and Kham Muon of Laos; and Nakhon Phanom, Sakon Nakhon, Nong Khai and Bung Kan of Thailand.-VNA