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Press conference on East-West Economic Corridor Week

About 400 government officials from Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar and representatives of donors and development partners and business circles of those countries will participate in the East-West Economic Corridor Week 2007 (EWEC) to be held in central Da Nang city from August 27 to September 1.

Deputy Foreign Minister Vu Dung said at a press briefing in Hanoi on August 8 that the week will feature major activities, including an EWEC investment, trade and tourism forum, an EWEC international exhibition fair, a caravan trip along the eastern part of EWEC, cultural and sport exchanges between participating countries.

Officials and businesses will discuss solutions to emerging issues related to developing investment, trade and tourism services, with a focus on encouraging donors to invest in infrastructure facilities and promote trade activities along the corridor.

According to Mr Dung, the week aims to promote EWEC potential, further draw attention from regional and international investors and the private business community to the corridor and strengthen cooperation among EWEC localities.

EWEC is one of the main components of the Agreement on the Cooperation for Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin. The 1,450-km corridor, which runs through 13 provinces of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, was established to promote cross-border trade, investment and tourism between the four countries. In Vietnam, the corridor runs through central Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces and central Da Nang City. 

Last year, about 10,000 visitors entered Vietnam from Thailand and Laos via the Lao Bao border gate. Among them, 600 joined touring caravans. Since Friendship No2 bridge linking Thailand’s Mukdahan province to Laos’ Savanakhet province was open to traffic in late 2006, the number of visitors travelling to Vietnam via the Lao Bao border gate, has increased sharply. In the first six months of 2007, about 17,000 visitors crossed the border gate to Vietnam, including 1,023 visitors from 21 caravan tours. (VOV)

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