Sunday, October 23, 2016

Developing more substantive and effective co-operation in Mekong Subregion

The three major diplomatic events have important implications for Vietnam’s relations with other countries in the Mekong Subregion, as well as for the country’s overall external relations and will contribute to strengthening the confidence of external partners in regional countries.
With the goal of closing the development gap between the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)—particularly between Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) and the other six members—and facilitating the integration of CLMV into the development plan for the region, on November 28, 2004, the leaders of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam organised the first CLMV Summit in Laos. Meanwhile, ACMECS was set up by Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam with the ultimate goal of ensuring peace, stability and prosperity. The main goal of ACMECS is to improve competitiveness and promote economic growth in border areas, to promote agriculture and industry, to create more jobs and to narrow the income gaps between countries.
After thirteen years of operation, CLMV–ACMECS co-operation has contributed to strengthening a peaceful and stable environment in the region, promoting economic, trade and investment ties among member countries and narrowing development gap in ASEAN. The highlight of the CLMV and ACMECS co-operation is to aim for specific results with outstanding projects and programmes being many new roads in the East–West Economic Corridor and the Southern Economic Belt, and many bilateral and multilateral agreements on transport, customs and immigration procedures, as well as scholarships. CLMV and ACMECS are also important mechanisms for Mekong countries to co-ordinate their efforts to cement trust and hold dialogue to seek solutions to common challenges like issues with water resources, climate change and diseases, harmonising the interests of all sides.
Over the years, Vietnam has acted as a co-ordinator in many fields in both the CLMV and ACMECS frameworks and has undertaken many practical activities to help promote comprehensive co-operation among countries. The country has proactively proposed and implemented many ideas, contributed to the drafting of numerous important documents and promoted initiatives for the subregion’s development, while providing development assistance to other countries in the region, including assistance in terms of human resources and infrastructure.
ACMECS-7 and the CLMV-8 are being held in the capital city of Hanoi under the theme of ‘Towards a Dynamic and Prosperous Mekong Subregion: Seizing Opportunities, Shaping the Future,’ and will provide an occasion for leaders to review the implementation of approved action plans and to reach consensus on co-operation measures to improve the competiveness of their economies, to promote regional integration and to respond to common challenges, in order to secure a peaceful and prosperous future for the Mekong Subregion. On the occasion of the events, at Vietnam’s initiative, the World Economic Forum on the Mekong Region (WEF Mekong) will be organised for the first time alongside CLMV-8 and ACMECS-7 to promote the region’s potential to the international business community.
Through its organisation of these three important events, Vietnam once again affirmed its consistent foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, co-operation and development and the diversification and multilateralisation of its relations and expressed its wish to promote the interests of the countries of the Mekong Subregion and to consolidate and develop its time-honoured relations with neighbouring countries, contributing to developing co-operation in the Mekong Subregion in a more substantive and effective manner.
In addition, this is also considered a good opportunity for Vietnam to promote its land and people, as well as to demonstrate its responsibility and contribution to all of the co-operation mechanisms in the Mekong Subregion, in ASEAN and in other regional and international mechanisms.


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