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ACMECS asked to step up cooperation with development partners

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc proposed a score of measures to improve the effectiveness of ACMECS cooperation.

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and delegation heads at the 8th ACMECS Summit (Photo:VGP). 

 

At the summit under the theme "Towards an Integrated and Connected Mekong Community", the Vietnamese government leader delivered a keynote speech proposing a number of measures to improve the effectiveness of ACMECS cooperation. ACMECS should promote the coordination of views on cooperation with development partners, and build a common voice on issues that need to be addressed as well as sub-regional cooperation priorities.

It is improve ACMECS operational mechanism and focus more on mobilizing financial resources for ACMECS cooperation through initiatives such as the ACMECS Fund and ACMECS Infrastructure Fund and Trust. It is necessary to study how to improve ACMECS's operational structure in a streamlined and efficient manner, including holding ACMECS along with the events of ASEAN and other Mekong mechanisms,  PM Phuc emphasized.

ACMECS cooperation should make more direct contributions and become an integral part of the ASEAN community by linking the implementation of the ACMECS Master Plan to the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and other ASEAN Cooperation Programs, he said.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc also proposed a number of specific areas of cooperation on transport connectivity, trade and investment, agriculture, tourism, environmental protection and resource management and human resource development.

Accompanying Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said that the proposals made by Vietnam at the previous ACMECS Summit are continuing to be touched upon at this conference.

"Right on this occasion, countries in the ACMECS mechanism, have promoted the results we achieved at the ACMECS Summit 2016 held in Hanoi. That is how to add fresh impetus to this cooperation mechanism. On this basis, the ACMECS cooperation mechanisms this time has given initiatives Vietnam had earlier proposed. This included the involvement of development partners in the ACMECS mechanism and of the business community inside and outside ACMECS in the development of ACMECS. This will create new momentum for ACMECS to further develop in the future,” Son said.

Regarding Vietnam's contributions to the ACMECS Master Plan for the 2019-2023 period, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said since the last ACMECS Summit, Vietnam has become involved in developing the program with other friends with a focus on infrastructure development, sustainable development in the Mekong region, trade and tourism exchanges between countries in the Mekong subregion, thus providing new motivation for development. Additionally, Vietnam has also contributed to supporting human resources training in the subregion, he added.

ACMECS 8 focused its discussions on measures to facilitate socio-economic development, improve competitiveness of member economies, and outlined orientations for cooperation for inclusive and sustainable development in the Mekong region. 

Leaders shared the view that the Mekong region boasts a wide market, capable human resources, and a strategic geo-economic location connecting Indian Ocean, the Pacific and Asian markets. 

However, regional countries have to face challenges from the slow recovery of the world economy, the emergence of populism, the return of protectionism, non-traditional security issues such as environment degradation, climate change and natural disasters, requiring ACMECS to further improve the efficiency of its cooperation and enhance coordination between ACMECS and other region and sub-regional mechanisms. 

Participants adopted the Bangkok Declaration and the ACMECS Master Plan for the 2019-2023 period with the goal of turning ACMECS into an economic hub with seamless connectivity and strong integration, on the three main pillars of hard infrastructure and soft infrastructure connectivity and smart and sustainable development.

acmecs asked to step up cooperation with development partners hinh 2 Accordingly, ACMECS will promote seamless connectivity from multi-modal transports links (roads, rails, bridges, ports, air, inland waterway, and maritime connectivity) including but not limited to infrastructures designed for sub-regional digital connectivity and energy infrastructure interconnection. Special emphasis will be on filling all the missing links in the sub-region, and the auxiliary connection lines linking industrial parks and seaports to main corridor routes; completing the missing railway links to enhance operations of sub-regional railway network, particularly the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) and Southern Economic Corridor (SEC).

It will also harmonise and simplify rules and regulations to facilitate the movement of people, free flow of goods, services, and investment while promoting financial literacy, capital market cooperation as well as financial connectivity such as payment and settlement, use of local currency, fintech and cooperation between banks and other financial service providers.

For smart and sustainable development, ACMECS will promote the development of human capital in strategic areas including entrepreneurship (MSMEs/Startups), agriculture, tourism, medical services and education. Environmental cooperation will continue to be promoted, particularly in sustainable water resource management and in other strategic fields, including agriculture, industry, tourism, health, renewable energy, climate change, disaster-risk management, and natural resources conservation.

The summit also discussed Thailand’s initiative on establishing the ACMECS Fund and ACMECS Infrastructure Fund and Trust as a financing mechanism for cooperation projects in the region. The funds are said to support the implementation of proritised projects in ACMECS member countries.  

It emphasized the role of businesses in and outside of the region, with the ACMECS CEO Forum and a dialogue between ACMECS country leaders and CEOs of leading companies in the region taking place for the first time. This showed that the private sector is set to be an important partner of the ACMECS in the future.

ACMECS leaders also highly spoke of Vietnam’s hosting of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi on September 11 – 13 this year, noting that it would be an opportunity to highlight the Mekong region as an ASEAN’s new dynamic economic engine and promote entrepreneurship in ACMECS countries.

Cambodia will host the 9th ACMECS Summit in 2020 as they agreed.

 

 

Source: VOV

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