[photopress:zones_moc_bai.jpg,full,alignright]This is an interesting development and the best way to think about it, perhaps, is that the European Common Union is sort of coming to Asia.
In Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved a plan to set up nine additional economic zones along the country’s bordergate region by 2020, bringing the total number of EZs in the country to 30.
[photopress:zones_bordergate_zone_1.jpg,full,alignleft]This is part of a larger economic development plan for the bordergate region up to 2020.
It focuses on sustainable development and long-lasting friendship and political security between Viet Nam’s border provinces and neighbouring provinces in China, Laos and Cambodia.
Nguyen The Dat, head of the zone’s State management team said that another bordergate economic zone on the trans-Asia highway, Moc Bai in southern Tay Ninh Province, also has great potential. (At the moment it is a rather sordid duty free zone for dealers but that first stage will pass. And it is a port city so does not apply in the context of co-operation with China. But the idea of a duty free EZ still applies. )
Located 70km from Ho Chi Minh City and some 170km from Phnom Penh, the 21.3ha zone opened in March, 2006 and has a commercial-industrial area and a duty-free supermarket.
The logical extension of these bordergate EZs is that China may have the equivalent, where applicable, on the other side of the border. Take it that Vietnam comes second after China in manufacturing potential and you can see a supersource emerging along the border areas.