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Vietnam’s Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh recently met in Hanoi with his Cambodian counterpart Chhay Than to push trade to new levels.
“Both countries aim for bilateral trade to peak $5 billion by 2015,” said Than. That would be a substantial increase over Vietnam-Cambodia bilateral trade totaling $3.3 billion in 2012, of which Vietnam earned $2.9 billion from exports to Cambodia and Cambodia reaped $430 million in total export value to Vietnam.
The talks also helped set the stage for an upcoming meeting this month between key ministers of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The agenda includes planned cooperation for turning Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam development triangle into an agricultural hub, with the rubber tree as the key plant.
“I am happy to recognise that our two countries have gone the right way in rice production,” noted Vinh. “Although Vietnam is set to grow into a modern industrialised nation by 2020, Vietnam’s greatest advantage is in agriculture. Robust agricultural growth in recent years held a large part to ensuring the country’s stable economic development and social well-being.”
Than said he was happy with upbeat figures which mirror a consolidated bilateral investment and trade cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia in recent years, which complements tighter ASEAN relations.
“Enhanced cooperation between our ministries would contribute to cultivating an united ASEAN community by 2015,” said Than.
During the meeting, the ministers discussed such matters as their experiences in handing surveys and collecting data for gross domestic product (GDP) calculations at national and local levels, experiences in devising and monitoring socio-economic development plans, as well as exchanging information between the two countries serving planning and oversight activities should be given a priority in 2013.
Vietnam had 104 investment projects in Cambodia worth $2.42 billion in total committed capital by the end of 2012, and disbursed capital reaches $300 million.