Illustrative image (Photo: Internet)
Leaders from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam passed the declaration, which focuses on post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and preparations for future crises and challenges through public health cooperation and supply chains. It also emphasises that public private partnerships should be a locomotive for economic development.
The spokesman for the Thai Government, Anucha Burapachaisri, said the summit looked into ACMECS cooperation within three pillars: a seamless ACMECS to promote regional connectivity, a synchronised ACMECS to promote harmonisation of trade, investment and industry policies, and a smart and sustainable ACMECS.
Member states agreed with a Thai proposal to add “a safe, secure, and trustworthy ACMECS” as a fourth pillar.
In his speech, Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Prayut Chan-o-cha recommended that ACMECS cooperation be based on multidimensional connectivity, the establishment of an ACMECS development fund, and the establishment of an ACMECS Secretariat.
He said multidimensional connectivity is key to the development of ACMECS, and stressed the importance of promoting the application of technology in cross-border trade and developing digital platforms for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to boost business capacity while generating more jobs that help improve livelihoods and reduce development gaps.
The next step in developing the ACMECS master plan is to enhance cooperation in the field of public health, he added.
As for the ACMECS fund, he said it helps development projects reflect the demands of the subregion. He also affirmed Thailand’s commitment to contributing 200 million USD to support projects that bring benefit to local people and the subregion.
He expressed a belief that the summit will show off to the world an ACMES with the solidarity to counter any challenges and ensure the sustainable development of the subregion./.