CLMV and AMECS cooperation- towards a dynamic, prosperous Mekong

(VOVworld)- The 8th Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Summit (CLMV-8), the 7th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy Summit (ACMECS-7) and the World Economic Forum on Mekong (WEF-Mekong) will take place in Hanoi on October 25-26. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh wrote an article declaring that CLMV and ACMECS cooperation both aim at promoting dynamism and prosperity in the Mekong region.
CLMV and AMECS cooperation- towards a dynamic, prosperous Mekong - ảnh 1
Vietnam participates in ACMECS Ministerial Forum on Responsible Tourism (Photo: VNA)

According to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Southeast Asian countries have gone a long way to establish the ASEAN Community with solidarity, consensus and “unity in diversity” as its core value. One major obstacle in this process has been the development gap between member countries, especially between Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV) and the other ASEAN countries.  

CLMV and ACMECS cooperation

With the goal of closing the development gap between members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), particularly between the CLMV and the other six members, and facilitating the integration of CLMV into the developing course of the region, on November 28, 2004, leaders of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam organized the first CLMV Summit in Laos.

The conference issued the Vientiane Statement on Boosting Economic Cooperation and Integration among CLMV, naming as the primary sectors for cooperation trade-investment, agriculture, industry, transportation, tourism and human resources development.

Meanwhile, ACMECS was set up by Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam with the ultimate goal of ensuring peace, stability, and prosperity. The main goals of ACMECS are to improve competitiveness and promote economic growth in border areas, promote agriculture and industry, create more jobs and narrow income gap between countries.

ACMECS cooperation focuses on eight fields, trade and investment, agriculture, industry and energy, transportation, tourism, human resources, health and the environment.

For 13 years, CLMV and ACMECS cooperation has promoted a peaceful and stable environment in the region, promoted economic, trade and investment ties among member countries and narrowed development gaps within ASEAN.

Thanks to extensive economic reforms and efforts in liberalizing and facilitating trade and investment, the Mekong region has become a dynamic development region and an important driving force for ASEAN’s growth.

Vietnam in CLMV, ACMECS cooperation

As an active and responsible member, Vietnam has been making practical contributions to turning the Mekong sub-region into a dynamic and prosperous economic area through CLMV and ACMECS cooperation framework. According to Minh, Vietnam, as the east gateway of the Mekong sub-region is an indispensable component of the East-West Economic Corridor and the South Economic Corridor. Vietnam has proposed and implemented many ideas, contributed to the drafting of numerous important documents, and promoted initiatives for the sub-region’s development, while providing development assistance to other countries in the region, including human resources and infrastructure assistance.

Within the CLMV framework, Vietnam has created a CLMV scholarship fund which provides dozens of scholarships to students from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar each year. The program is appreciated by the beneficiary countries, who have recommended extending it during 2016-2020. Vietnam acts as a coordinator in many fields within the CLMV and ACMECS frameworks and has done much to promote multifaceted cooperation.

Well aware of the importance of sustainable use of natural resources in the Mekong river basin, Vietnam has actively promoted cooperation in managing water resources. Vietnam was the first country to suggest a working group on the environment within the framework of ACMECS and currently is a co-chair of the group.

Future cooperation directions

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said the ACMECS-7 and the CLMV-8 in Hanoi, themed “Towards a dynamic and prosperous Mekong sub-region: Seizing opportunities, shaping the future”, will open a new chapter for Mekong sub-region cooperation and contribute to sustainable development and prosperity in the region. At Vietnam’s initiative, a World Economic Forum on the Mekong region (WEF Mekong) will be organized for the first time alongside the CLMV8 and ACMECS7 to promote the region’s potential to the international business community. The conference promises to generate creative ideas and cooperation opportunities between the world’s leading corporations and the top enterprises in the region which will attract investment capital for infrastructure, human resources and connectivity.