PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the summit (Source: VNA)
Hanoi, October 26 (VNA) - The 7th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy Summit (ACMECS 7) adopted the Hanoi Declaration in Hanoi on October 26 seeking to turn the Mekong region into an economic centre with dynamism and sustainable development.

Participating leaders discussed measures to spur socio-economic development, improve the competitiveness of the economies and increase regional economic integration. They also outlined cooperation orientations to ensure sustainable development in the Mekong Region.

The ACMECS leaders shared their view that the Mekong region is facing a range of difficulties and challenges in ensuring financial resources for joint development as well as those on climate change response and environmental protection.

In the sphere of transport, the ACMECS countries agreed to further coordinate to complete multimodal transport connectivity and make full use of the existing road transportation networks. They will also join hands with each other in the development of new transport routes and encourage businesses to take part in transport infrastructure development.

In the trade and investment facilitation sector, they will strengthen cooperation in harmonising and simplifying rules and regulations and promote cross-border trade. They will encourage the use of local currencies for border trade transactions and information sharing on foreign exchange rules and regulations among members.

In the realm of tourism, the countries consented to promote green and responsible tourism, d evelop various form of tourism products and facilitate the participation of tourism agencies and associations in major fairs and exhibitions in the region.

Environmentally, the leaders reiterated the commitment to integrate the relevant Sustainable Development Goals into all ACMECS projects on economic development. In a parallel effort, they will further strengthen cooperation in environmental conservation and sustainable use of natural resources of the Ayeyawady, Chao Phraya and Mekong rivers.

They agreed to step up collaboration between ACMECS countries and the Mekong River Commission and other regional mechanisms to jointly manage water resources for the sustainable management, development , utilization, and conservation of trans-boundary water and related resources.

Speaking at the summit, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc underscored major priorities in ACMECS’s future cooperation, including increasingly connecting ACMECS economies; promoting links between ACMECS and ASEAN as well as other partnership mechanisms in the region; fostering coordination in improving competitiveness and international integration; and collaborating to cope with climate change and protect the environment.

On measures to enhance connectivity of ACMECS economies, the Vietnamese Government leader held that countries should boost connectivity in transport infrastructure, paying more attention to the expansion of road infrastructure, especially in disadvantaged localities along the border.

In order to create a space for businesses’ development, ACMECS member countries should seriously implement signed trade, investment and tourism deals, while setting up a channel for effective information exchange to strengthen public-private cooperation.

The PM proposed bolstering connectivity between ACMECS and other trans-national transportation routes through developing multimode transportation, turning transport corridors into economic corridors in parallel with the formation of industrial production and service chains.

He also stressed the need to integrate ACMECS programmes and projects into the ASEAN action plans and regional cooperation in order to optimise resources for development.

The PM suggested that ACMECS countries should work together for market expansion, while encouraging and backing ACMECS enterprises to join the green supply chain, getting ready to make full use of the science and technology revolution, and creating a new momentum and a leap forwards in growth.

Regarding cooperation in environmental protection and climate change response, he recommended that ACMECS countries apply four major solutions of increasing cooperation in management and sustainable use of natural resources, including the shared water resource, as well as encouraging the exchange of information on climate change.

Meanwhile, it is vital to promote the development and application of environmentally-friendly technologies, together with close coordination with the international community in climate change mitigation, he said.

Under Vietnam’s initiative, the first-ever World Economic Forum on the Mekong Region was held in the framework of ACMECS and CLMV summits, with the participation of many important development partners.

The initiative helps forge stronger connectivity among businesses in the Mekong region as well as with major economic groups in the world, while increasing dialogue between the business circle and policy makers, and boosting the engagement of development partners in CLMV and ACMECS cooperation programmes.

Vietnam’s initiatives have also been supported and lauded by member countries.-VNA