Mekong Countries Discuss Measures to Boost Region’s Development


Leaders of the five Mekong countries discussed measures to promote cooperation and make the region more dynamic and competitive at the two summits that convened in Hanoi yesterday.

The capital is hosting both the 8th Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Summit (CLMV 8) and the 7th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy Summit (ACMECS 7).

The CLMV 8, themed Seize Opportunities, Shape the Future, focuses on opportunities and challenges for economic development of the four participating countries, and measures to boost their cooperation in improving competitiveness and regional integration.The ACMECS 7, themed Towards a Dynamic and Prosperous Mekong Subregion, discusses stepping up cooperation among the ACMECS member countries – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam – to narrow development gaps in the Mekong sub-region and to ensure sustainable development.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen XuanPhuc said the CLMV and ACMECS have contributed to important achievements, such as promoting the socio-economic development of each country , helping with the establishment of the Asean Community and aiding peace and stability in the region.

Mekong countries have become a growth driver for Southeast Asia, and seen as one of fastest growing regions in the world, he said.

We are presented with excellent opportunities for the development of CLMV and ACMECS. At these summits, we will discuss a new landscape and together work out ways and means to build dynamic and competitive economies with sustainable and inclusive growth, Phucsaid.The PM noted that the government of Vietnam attached great importance to CLMV and ACMECS cooperation and is willing to work closely with member countries and development partners for peace, stability, sustainable development and prosperity of the region.

Leaders of other countries, including Cambodian PM SamdechTechoHunsen, Lao PM ThonglounSisoulith, Myanmar President HtinKyaw and Thai Deputy PM SomkidJatusripitak also talked about the importance of ACMECS and CLMV within the ASEAN. They believe that promoting the two co-operation mechanisms will improve connectivity in ASEAN and strengthen the ASEAN community, which will help fix the development gap in the region, cope with challenges the region faces, improve social welfare and the standard of living of the people.

United Nations (UN) Under General Secretary ShamshadAkhtar said the Mekong region has gained a certain position in the world because of its achievements in economic growth and social advancement. The CLMV is an indispensable part of the ASEAN and related mechanisms and the UN will continue helping the region to achieve the goal of sustainable development, she said. Vu Tien Loc, chairman of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the governments of all member countries must speed up administrative reforms and mechanisms and human resources training to create favourable conditions for trade and investment.

Trans-national corporations and development partners should work closely with governments and invest more resources to improve capacity and connectivity of small- and medium-sized businesses, particularly those in the field of agriculture, so that they don’t lag behind in the development process, Loc said.

Proposing measures to boost co-operation between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and CLMV and ACMECS, a bank representative said ADB will continue supporting CLMV countries in matters relating to infrastructure development, private investment, policy, mechanism, transport and trade. The bank will also co-operate with the CLMV and ACMECS to help in disease prevention and climate change adaptation, he said.

Leaders of the Mekong countries released a joint statement of the CLMV 8 and the Hanoi declaration of the ACMECS 7.


Source: Vientiane Times