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 on October 26.

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 on October 26.

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 opening ceremony of the CLMV 8 and the ACMECS 7 in Hanoi__Photo: VNA

The CLMV 8, themed “Seize Opportunities, Shape the Future”, focuses on opportunities and challenges foreconomic 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 Xuan Phuc 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 offastest growing region in the world, he said.

“We are presented with excellent opportunities for the development of CLMV and ACMECS. At these summits, we will discuss new landscape and together work out ways and means to build dynamic and competitive economies with sustainable and inclusive growth,” Phuc said.

The PM noted that the Government of Vietnam attached great important 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.

An overview of the 8th CLMV Summit in Hanoi__Photo: VNA

Leaders of other countries, including Cambodian PM Samdech TechoHunsen, Lao PM Thongloun Sisoulith, Myanmar President Htin Kyaw and Thai Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak also talked about the importance of ACMECS and CLMV within the ASEAN. They believe that promoting the two cooperation 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 Shamshad Akhtar 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 favorable conditions for trade and investment.

Trans-national corporations and development partners should work closely with governments and invest more resourcesto improve capacity and connectivity of small- and medium-sized businesses, particularly those in the field of rural and agriculture, so that they don’t lag behind in the development process, Loc said.
Proposing measures to boost cooperation 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 cooperate 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.- (VNS/VLLF)

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