According to Vietnamese media sources, officials from Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam agreed to speed up development of a 111,000sqkm border triangle area at the fourth meeting of the area’s joint co-ordination committee held in Viet Nam’s Central Highland Dac Lac Province on Monday.

The development efforts will focus on mining, hydro-electricity development, agro-forestry and trade.

The Cambodia – Laos – Viet Nam Development Triangle, which comprises 10 provinces in the three countries – Cambodia’s Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri and Stung Treng; Laos’s Attapeu, Salavan and Xekong; and Viet Nam’s Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Dak Nong – was initiated in 1999 by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Viet Nam’s Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc said on the sidelines of the meeting that many memorandums of understanding had been amended and ratified.

“They were mainly related on customs procedures, transportation, export and import policies, and payment mechanism,” he said.

The committee also agreed to adopt uniform policies for attracting investment and utilising official development assistance.

Representatives from the three countries promised to work on modifications to the area’s master plan, a Vietnamese initiative to spearhead the development of the area.

The modifications will be submitted for approval by the three nations’ prime ministers at their summit next year.

The potentially rich triangle remains poor despite efforts to change it by local authorities in the last 10 years.