- October 31, 2016
Outcomes of the World Economic Forum on the Mekong Region, the 7th ACMECS Summit and the 8th CLMV Summit 25-26 October 2016 Hanoi, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, led a high-level delegation to attend in Hanoi, the World Economic Forum on Mekong Region, the 7th ACMECS Summit and the 8th CLMV Summit, from the 25th to 26th October 2016, at the invitation of H.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM ON THE MEKONG REGION
The Forum was attended from the government side by Heads of State and Governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam, the representative of the World Economic Forum and other delegates from the private sector of the Mekong countries. Emphasizing the vast economic potentials and the important role of the Mekong region, the Leaders have shared their views on ways to strengthening regional connectivity, enhancing trade and economic integration in the framework of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) as well as deepening the regional supply chain and exploring new models for industrialization in the Mekong by building on the complementarity of each country.
Samdech Techo Prime Minister, in his address during the Opening Plenary Session on “Seeking Synergy: Regional Leaders Share Their Vision for the Mekong”, presented his views on the development directions for the Mekong region. He recognized the huge potential of the region as a highly effective regional production network, stressed, however, that challenges remain in terms of addressing key bottlenecks to regional competitiveness. He encouraged the private sector to play a more active role in infrastructure development through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects such as highways, railways, waterways, ports and aviation as well as energy and telecommunication networks, taking into account new financing mechanisms such as China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative, which includes the Silk Road Fund and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Japan’s “Partnership for Quality Infrastructure” as well as other multilateral financial institutions.
In this regard, Samdech Prime Minister is keen to have Cambodia cooperating closely with other Mekong countries in many areas of industrial production and regional supply chain, by way of implementing Cambodia’s Industrial Development Policy. He has also stressed the need to have more cooperation in the area of agriculture export, in particular rice export.
Finally, Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that Cambodia will host the WEF on ASEAN in May 2017 in Phnom Penh and has extended his cordial invitation to all of participants to attend the event.
THE 7th ACMECS AND THE 8th CLMV SUMMITS
The Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) and the Cambodia-Lao PDR-Myanmar-Vietnam (CLMV) Summits were held back-to-back on the 26th of October 2016, and were attended by Heads of State/Government of ACMECS and CLMV countries, including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. The Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations cum Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), representatives of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB) also attended the Summits.
The 7th ACMECS Summit was held under the theme “Towards a Dynamic and Prosperous Mekong Subregion-Enhancing Regional Connectivty to promote ACMECS Economic Integration, and ACMECS Cooperation for Sustainable Development of the Mekong Sub-region”. In his remarks, Samdech Techo Hun Sen raised many pertinent issues of interest for Cambodia as well as for ACMECS countries, including managing labor flow, strenthening cooperation in rice production and trade, developing regional production network, and climate change. He also shared his view on the future direction of ACMECS, focusing on improving transport infrastructure, energy and digital connectivity, institutional and regulatory coordination. He urged ACMECS to work on jointly mapping and developing sub-regional value chains of goods and services as well as strengthening and expanding cooperation among business and between people and people.
The Leaders have adopted the Hanoi Declaration of the 7th ACMECS Summit, where they committed to the following actions: (i) Further coordinating their efforts to complete multimodal transport connectivity and making full use of the existing road transportation networks and economic corridors, in particular the Southern Economic Corridor, and strengthening cooperation in harmonizing and simplifying rules and regulations; (ii) Enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs through enhancing SME cluster development, harmonizing standards, access to information, finance, technology and capacity building; (iii) Accelerating the implementation of the seven cooperation areas in the ACMECS Tourism Action Plan 2016-2018 and promoting green and responsible tourism; (iv) Promoting bilateral and multilateral contract farming to generate employment and increase the welfare of farmers; (v) Promoting trade of agricultural products and exchange of communication on rice production and trade; and (vi) Committing to integrate the relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into all ACMECS economic development projects.
The 8th CLMV Summit was held under the theme “Seize Opportunities, Shape the Future: Opportunities and Challenges to CLMV’s Economic Competitiveness and Regional Integration”. Samdech Techo Hun Sen emphasized the need for CLMV countries to coordinate and closely cooperate on the issue of agriculture products as they are competing with each other in producing and exporting the same products, particularly agricultural products, which lead to a price decrease. He further emphasized strengthening cooperation in the tourism sector, which is the natural strength of CLMV countries.
The CLMV Leaders have adopted the Joint Statement of 8th CLMV Summit, which highlighted the need to continue advancing the structural reforms of their respective CLMV economies, and enhancing regional connectivity to improve CLMV competiveness. The Leaders have agreed to implement the following concrete measures: (i) Accelerating the construction of missing links and upgrading roads along the various economic corridors and facilitating air transport; (ii) Transforming transport corridors into economic and industrial corridors by accelerating the simplification and harmonization of cross-border trade procedures; (iii) Promoting policy cooperation in the field of industrial development, standardization and conformance, SME and high quality human resources development; and (iv) Implementing the 2016 – 2018 Action Plan on Tourism Cooperation and promoting more public – private partnerships among the CLMV countries.
The Leaders resolved to convene back-to-back the 9th CLMV Summit and the 8th ACMECS Summit in the Kingdom of Thailand in 2018. Cambodia will chair the 9th CLMV summit, while Thailand will chair the 8th ACMECS Summit.
OTHER BILATERAL MEETING
On the margin of the Summits, Samdech Techo Hun Sen attended a working breakfast hosted by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, where both leaders had the opportunity to exchange views on bilateral issues of mutual interest. Both Prime Ministers also witnessed the signing ceremony of the Arrangement on Bilateral Trade Enhancement between Cambodia and Viet Nam.
Phnom Penh, 28 October 2016