Strengthening regional connectivity for prosperity and development

Friday, 2018-06-15 11:29:41
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The opening ceremony of the ACMECS 7 and CLMV 8 in Hanoi in 2016. (Photo: VGP)
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NDO - Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and a high-ranking delegation left Hanoi on June 15 to attend to the 8th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy Summit (ACMECS 8) and the 9th Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Summit (CLMV 9) in Bangkok, Thailand from June 15-16, at the invitation of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen,

The attendance of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at these summits reflects Vietnam’s respect for the ACMECS and CLMV mechanisms, which help to strengthen the links between countries in the region for prosperity and sustainable development.

ACMECS is a cooperation framework among Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam to utilise the member countries’ diverse strengths and to promote balanced development in the sub-region. Established in November 2003, the ACMECS aims to strengthen bilateral economic collaboration, tap comparative advantages of member regions and countries, and narrow development gaps. The ACMECS now covers eight cooperation fields of trade-investment, agriculture, industry-energy, transportation, tourism, human resources development, health care and environment.

The biennial ACMECS Summit is held alternately in each country. Vietnam hosted the ACMECS 3 in Hanoi in 2008 and the ACMECS 7 in 2016, which adopted a joint statement on trade, investment, and tourism facilitation and prioritised economic connectivity, especially promoting internal trade and investment to cope with challenges, and established a working group on the environment.

During the ASEAN-Japan Summit in December 2003 in Tokyo, leaders of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam agreed to hold the first CLMV Summit on the occasion of the 10th ASEAN Summit held in Vientiane in November 2004.

The CLMV cooperation is based on the idea of narrowing the development gap between CMVL and other countries in the region, thus facilitating their integration into the region’s development. It is also a channel to call for support from other ASEAN countries and development partners for CLMV countries as well as a forum for CLMV to coordinate their stances, thus protecting their interests during the process of economic connectivity in ASEAN and between ASEAN and its partners.

CLMV cooperation covers trade, investment, agriculture, industry, energy, transport, tourism and human resources development. The countries agreed to establish six working groups and Vietnam coordinates three of them; trade-investment, information technology and human resources development.

As an active and responsible member of the ACMECS and CLMV frameworks, Vietnam has proactively launched initiatives and contributed resources to strengthening connectivity and cooperation among countries. Vietnam has played a coordinating role in a number of areas of interdisciplinary cooperation and has implemented a number of practical activities that promote comprehensive cooperation among nations. Recognising the importance of sustainably using the national resources of the Mekong River Basin, the country has actively promoted collaborative environmental and water resources management activities, and a working group on the environment. Vietnam built the CLMV Scholarship Fund from which tens of scholarships are offered to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar each year, which will continue until 2020.

The 8th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy Summit (ACMECS 8) and the 9th Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Summit (CLMV 9) are taking place at a time when cooperation within the Greater Mekong Subregion is being strengthened for peace, stability and development in the region. The relationship between Vietnam and other countries in the Mekong basin has been expanded and promoted. The attendance of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at these summits affirmed Vietnam’s appreciation for regional cooperation mechanisms; contributing to enhancing the position and role of Vietnam in ACMECS and CLMV; promoting cooperation among countries in the region; as well as boosting the Vietnam-Thailand strategic partnership and the time-honoured and comprehensive solidarity and friendship between Vietnam and Cambodia.