Phnom Penh (VNA) – The Fourth Meeting on Cooperation and Development among Border Provinces of Viet Nam and Cambodia wrapped up in Sihanouk Ville, Cambodia , on February 28.
The two-day meeting, co-chaired by Vietnamese Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, drew representatives from ministries, institutions and border provincial authorities of the two countries.
In an atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding, the two sides emphasised the significance and necessity to enhance the mechanism of the meeting on cooperation and development among the countries’ border provinces.
Both sides said they were determined to maintain and increase the efficiency of this cooperation mechanism to build the border area into a region of peace and prosperity, contributing to enhancing and expanding the “good neighbourliness, friendship, cooperation and long-term stability between Viet Nam and Cambodia .
At the meeting, the two sides reviewed the implementation of agreements reached at the previous third meeting held in Long Xuyen town of An Giang province, Viet Nam , in December 2006.
The sides spoke of their satisfaction in the outcomes of comprehensive cooperation between ministries, institutions and provinces of the two countries, emphasising that the results have made important contributions to changing the face of the countries’ border localities in socio-economics and consolidating security, stability and order along the common border line.
The two sides discussed measures to continue promoting cooperation in 2008 and agreed to focus on a number of key areas including upgrading infrastructural facilities, particularly traffic infrastructure as it is a key to promote socio-economic development and trade.
The two countries also agreed to promote cooperation in trade, investment, service and tourism in the borders of the two countries, build border economic regions and border markets as well as enhance cooperation in agro-forestry and fisheries, education and training, healthcare and personnel development for the two countries’ border localities.
The two sides will together enhance cultural, artistic and public exchange among border provinces, actively fulfill border demarcation and plantation as scheduled and boost cooperation and collaboration in defending security, stability and order along the common borderline.
The two sides agreed to provide preferential treatment in investment, trade and services carried out in border areas.
The Cambodian side then welcomed Vietnamese companies to invest in power plant construction and infrastructure development in Cambodia .
The two sides also pledged to beef up construction of Road 78 in Cambodia that links Oyadao with Ban Lung in Rattanakiri province and said they would speed up a feasibility study on building the Khanh Binh bridge to connect Mekong Delta’s An Giang province with Chrey Thom in Cambodia ’s Kandal province.
The Cambodian side said it would create conditions for Vietnamese companies to cooperate in the exploration and exploitation of Cambodian oil, gas and minerals as well as in joint projects on growing industrial crops so ensure they can be carried out as soon as possible.
The two sides also decided to continue cooperation in agriculture, healthcare, education, culture, social affairs and tourism.
The Vietnamese side pledged to continue working with and aiding Cambodia in preventing and fighting plant and animal epidemics and in human resource training in Cambodian border localities.
Meeting participants applauded the fruitful and effective cooperation in maintaining security and stability in border areas shared by the two countries, in land and on sea.
They noted the need to maintain and maximise communication channels, share information and experience, and train personnel from administration, security and defence agencies in border provinces.
They two sides agreed to collaborate on joint patrols, reinforce inspections to prevent illegal immigration, and cooperate in countering trans-border crimes and terrorist activities in their common border areas.
They reiterated the need to continue the policy of not permitting outside forces to use one’s territory as a base to conduct operations against the other.
The two sides also reached an agreement to raise awareness and understanding among people, officials and soldiers from border areas about the countries’ laws, border-related regulations and signed agreements.
They decided to continue prioritising the demarcation and planting of landmarks on the shared border and strive to complete the task as previously agreed.
The countries also agreed to accelerate the opening of new border gates and upgrade existing border gates to facilitate cross-border travel and transportation as well as deploy negotiations and sign a visa exemption agreement for ordinary passport holders.
During the meeting, the two Deputy PMs signed a security cooperation plan for 2008 between the Viet Nam Ministry of Public Security and the Cambodia Ministry of Home Affairs.
In addition, leaders of border provinces and representatives of ministries and sectors of the two countries held separate working sessions and meetings to discuss their cooperative programmes.
At the end of the meeting, the two sides issued a joint communique and agreed to hold the fifth meeting in Viet Nam in 2009.