International conference on Trade and Investment Facilitation in cross-border economic zones

On 5th February 2018, VNU University of Economics and Business co-ordinated with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to organize the international conference on "Trade and Investment Facilitation in cross-border economic zones”.

The conference was part of the project "Scientific arguments for the formation and development of cross-border economic zones in Vietnam" (KX.01.09/16-20) under the key state-level science and technology program in the period 2016-2020 “Research on key issues of social sciences and humanities for social development" (KX.01/16-20).
The conference was organized for the purpose of enhancing academic and practical exchanges, providing a forum for national and international scholars and experts to discuss the cross-border economic models and experiences; the situation and prospects for the management and development of cross border economic zones in Vietnam.

The conference attracts a large number of scholars and experts

Attending the conference, there were Mr. Eric Sidgwik - ADB Country Director, Mr. Daid Roland Holst - Expert of Development economics and Regional cooperation, Mr. Bod Haywood - Senior expert on border economic zone together with ADB’s experts on regional cooperation. From the UEB, there were Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Truc Le - Rector, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Anh Thu - Vice Rector, leader of the research project.

Opening the conference, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Truc Le expressed gratitude to ADB for accompanying and cooperating with UEB in organizing the conference. He also affirmed that research activities under the project KX.01.09/16-20 will make significant contribution to UEB in its way to become a leading research university in the country and region. Mr. Eric Sidgwik said that the conference was part of ADB's support under the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) cooperation, which will benefit both ADB and UEB, as well as scholars, researchers and students.

Assoc.Prof. Dr. Nguyen Truc Le gives the opening speech

The conference was divided into two sessions, chaired by Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Anh Thu and Mr. Yuebin Zhang - Senior expert on Regional Cooperation of ADB.
In the first session, the conference listened to presentations of experts on CBEZs’ issues including successful experiences in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and China; various aspects of CBEZs such as trade, tourism, transport, labor, general management mechanism; policies to promote trade and investment in the border area that can benefit the stakeholders, including small and medium-sized enterprises and border residents; assessment of the feasibility in establishing CBEZs in five border provinces of Vietnam (Quang Ninh, Lao Cai, Cao Bang, Lang Son and Tay Ninh); the current situation of special economic zones, border economic zones etc.


Mr. Eric Sidgwik - Country Director of ADB in Vietnam

These are important lessons for Vietnam in identifying appropriate CBEZs models and routes. The presentation of the researchers also shows that the formation of CBEZ between Vietnam and neighboring countries faces many difficulties, such as poor infrastructure and services, high risk of operation etc.

Mr. Daid Roland-Holst - Expert of development economics and regional cooperation

The second session of the conference focused on discussing specific issues related to cross border economic zones such as "Conditions for Establishing Cross-border Economic Zones in Lao Cai, Vietnam (Vietnam) - Yunnan (China)” by Mr. Nguyen Truong Giang - Deputy Director of Lao Cai Department of Industry and Trade; “Application of modern technology to customs management in key areas through road and rail border gates” by Mr. Le Duc Tho - Deputy Director of Lang Son Customs Department; “Cross-border transportation activities in reality, advantages, difficulties and proposals” by Ms. Mai Thi Thu Dung - Representative of AsiaTrans Vietnam.


Mr. Bod Haywood - Senior expert on border economic zone


Dr. Dang Thi Phuong Hoa presented at the conference

The conference received various comments from scholars and lectures. The comments focused on policy implications to promote official trading, general and specific conditions for the establishment of cross border economic zones, especially the policy harmonization between Vietnam and neighboring countries (China, Laos, and Cambodia); forecasts on trade relations between Vietnam and these countries; suggestions for developing various aspects of CBEZs (logistics cooperation between the two neighboring countries, transportation infrastructure, trade, investment, policy mechanisms etc.).

The conference was successful in creating a forum for experts and scholars to share their ideas. It also the opportunities for the research team to collect new ideas to complete the project KX.01.09/16-20, thereby, contributing to the promotion of socio-economic development of the border and the whole country.

Participants take photo at the conference
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Thanh Tu

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