Myanmar President Win Myint, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Cambodian PM Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Lao PM Thongloun Sisoulith and ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi at CLMV-9 (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam also re-affirms its commitment to those cooperation frameworks, which help create a favourable environment for sustainable development of each country involved and the region as a whole.
ACMECS: enhancing competitiveness, narrowing development gap
The Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), also known as the Economic Cooperation Strategy (ECS), is an economic cooperation framework that brings together Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam with an aim to enhance common economic cooperation and bilateral coordination to tap the comparative advantages of regions and member states, improve competitiveness and narrow development gap.
Set up in November 2003, the framework has so far covered eight cooperation areas, including trade-investment, agriculture, industry-energy, transport, tourism, human resources, health care and the environment with eight working groups responsible for each area.
At the ACMECS-8 held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2018, leaders of member countries agreed to restructure the eight cooperation areas and add some new ones towards building a competitive economy via promoting multifaceted connectivity. In the immediate future, priority is given to building roads along the East-West and the Southern economic corridors, enhancing harmonisation of trade and investment regulations and procedures, developing human resources and technology, ensuring security as well as food and energy security, and effectively using and managing water resources.
The 8th summit also adopted the Bangkok Declaration and the ACMECS Master Plan for the 2019-2023 period.
On the occasion, Thailand also proposed the establishment of the ACMECS Fund and the ACMECS Infrastructure Fund and Trust to raise capital for ACMECS’s projects.
CLMV: promoting integration in sub-Mekong region and ASEAN
At the ASEAN – Japan Summit held in Tokyo, Japan in December 2003, leaders of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam consented to hold the first CLMV Summit on the occasion of the 10th ASEAN Summit in Vientiane, Laos in November 2004.
The CLMV cooperation mechanism covers trade-investment, agriculture, industry-energy, transport, tourism and human resources development.
The CLMV-1 adopted the Vientiane Declaration on enhancing economic cooperation and integration within Mekong sub-regional, ASEAN and regional cooperation frameworks, called on countries and international organisations to boost support for the four countries to narrow development gap.
The CLMV-2 approved an Action Plan on partnering with Thailand to consider the possibility of cooperation between CLMV and ACMECS to avoid overlapping and improve cooperation efficiency.
The CLMV-3 saw agreement reached on combining CLMV and ACMECS action plans.
The CLMV-4 agreed on orientations to fostering regional collaboration in trade, investment, transportation, agriculture, industry, energy, tourism, human resources development and encouragement of the involvement of private sector and businesses in cooperation process.
The CLMV-5 passed a Joint Declaration on boosting cooperation among four countries to narrow development gap with ASEAN member states.
The CLMV-6 agreed on major orientations, including improving the efficiency of coordinating joint work; facilitating trade, investment and tourism; increasing connectivity via fostering the development of economic corridors and human resources.
The CLMV-7 vowed to strengthen trade and investment collaboration among four countries and build new policies on facilitating trade and the implementation of signed bilateral and multilateral agreements.
The CLMV-8 pledged to embark on cooperation in transport, trade and investment facilitation, industry, tourism and human resources development.
The CLMV-9 agreed to prioritise measures to narrow the development gap within, especially in human resources development, high-tech agriculture, tourism and creation of a favourable business environment.
Building a sustainable and prosperous CLV Development Triangle
The CLV Development Triangle was established in 1999 covering 10 provinces, namely Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Dak Nong of Vietnam; Sekong, Attapeu and Saravan of Laos and Stung Treng, Rattanak Kiri and Mondul Kiri of Cambodia.
In 2009, the three countries agreed to add Vietnam’s Binh Phuoc, Cambodia’s Kratie and Laos’ Champasak to the CLV development triangle.
Cooperation in the CLV framework focuses on security-external affairs, transport, industry, agriculture, trade, investment, social affairs and environment protection.
Apart from CLV Summits, the three countries also established a Joint Coordination Committee on CLV Development Triangle Area with four sub-committees on economy, socio-environment, local affairs, and security-external affairs.
At the 10th CLV Summit on Development Triangle Area, leaders of the three nations lauded achievements recorded in infrastructure, trade facilitation, maintenance of regional peace and stability, and socio-economic development.
They also adopted an Action Plan on linking the three economies together till 2030.
The 10th CLV Summit, for the first time, saw the participation of the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and ASEAN as development partners, thereby committing to promoting cooperation and developing sustainable economies./.