Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (second from left) at the 9th Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Summit.(Photo: VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) –
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam is ready to contribute to cooperation in the framework of the Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam (CLMV) mechanism and proposed specific support for the countries.

Attending the 9th Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Summit (CLMV 9) in Bangkok, Thailand on June 16, PM Phuc said Vietnam will help the countries attend big trade fairs in Vietnam, build e-government, improve digital capacity and skills, and continue to provide CLMV scholarships for Cambodian, Lao and Myanmar students.

He stressed that narrowing the development gap within the ASEAN is significant to the socio-economic development in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam as well as to stability and prosperity of ASEAN as a whole.

The Prime Minister said there are three points worth of attention in order to achieve the best outcomes in CLMV cooperation. First of all, the cooperation should focus on sectors which are the strength of the concerned countries with high feasibility, especially in the context of limited resources and the four countries’ participation in various Mekong mechanisms. He pinpointed some examples such as soft infrastructure connection, agriculture, tourism, human resource training, and development of sound and equal business climate.

Secondly, CLMV should be creative in mobilizing resources and building joint projects, he said, suggesting integrating CLMV’s contents into other Mekong cooperation mechanisms and invloving development partners in CLMV meetings and project execution.

Thirdly, the four nations should build mid and long-term cooperation strategies to serve as foundation for their joint activities.

The 9th CLMV Summit, themed “For Greater Economic Integration and Connectivity”, leaders of the four member states affirmed their determination to bolster collaboration to tap their economic potential, making contributions to the development of the ASEAN bloc and ensuring inclusive and sustainable development in the region.

They expressed their hope that close cooperation will help CLMV countries overcome formidable challenges and grasp new development opportunities.

The summit lauded efforts made by the member states in enhancing transport connection, facilitating trade and investment, and developing human resources. Leaders of Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar thanked the Vietnamese Government for granting scholarships and practical training courses for their citizens.

The leaders reached consensus on fortifying multi-faceted connectivity among the four economies to realise CLMV’s targets.

On transportation, the four nations will work to build missing roads in their transport connectivity, upgrade sections in the North-South Economic Corridor, East-West Economic Corridor, and South Economic Corridor, accelerate construction of the Vientiane-Hanoi expressway, and study the feasibility of a road running through Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.

On trade, investment and industrial cooperation, they will carry out existing agreements, organise trade and investment promotion activities, stimulate border trade and development of e-commerce, slash trade barriers through the harmonization of standards, branch out special economic and industrial zones, build mechanisms to support small and medium enterprises, and share experience in industrial development.

In a bid to push tourism development, the Action Plan on tourism cooperation during 2016-2018 will be fully implemented. The four nations will create favourable conditions for travel associations to attend regional tourism events as well as encourage public-private partnership in tourism and foster aviation connectivity.

The four member nations will continue the CLMV scholarship programme financed by the Vietnamese Government during 2016-2020, study to set up a database on labour market demand and vocational training programmes.

In agricultural cooperation, the countries will work to improve productivity, diversify agricultural products, and connect farm produce with consumption market via value chains. They will also expand ties in fisheries and forestry, share good practices and promote sustainable agricultural production.  

Regarding energy sector, they will join hand for the study of the development of new, clean and renewable energy sources, the sustainable management and use of natural resources, including water resources, encourage the harmonisation of electrical technical standards, and push forward the building of common mechanisms for electricity transmission pricing.

The countries will share knowledge and experience in building policies and regulations on developing the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, promoting ICT connectivity among them, expand cooperation in cyber security, and facilitate conditions for ICT enterprises.

Leaders at the summit assigned their senior officials to study measures to streamline CLMV operational mechanism and better combine CLMV cooperation with other Mekong cooperation mechanisms.

They call for more proactive involvement of the business sector and development partners in CLMV projects.

At the end of the summit, the leaders adopted a joint statement of the CLMV 9 and agreed that Laos will be host of the CLMV 10.

The same day, PM Phuc and heads of delegations of members of the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) had a working lunch with CEOs of a number of businesses in the region. Vietnamese enterprises present at the function were BRG, T&T, FPT, Vietjet and Hop Luc corporations.

The ACMECS member countries are Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The 8th ACMECS summit also took place in Bangkok, Thailand on June 16.-VNA