ACMECS targets effective multifaceted cooperation

The 3rd Summit of Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) ended yesterday in Ha Noi, with a joint declaration passed by the leaders of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (C)  at the 3rd ACMECS Summit in Ha Noi.

The declaration expess the determination, the vision and the commitments of member countries to make ACMECS become an effective cooperative framework in various fields.

Included in the declaration are many measures to boost cooperation in trade, investment and tourism among ACMECS member countries.

It also focuses on the need to strengthening cooperation between ACMECS and international donors.

Addressing the summit, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung affirmed that environmental protection in the region was a global issue that demanded due attention from all countries.

The three rivers, Ayeyawady, Chao Phraya and Mekong, are of great importance to the sustainable development of ACMECS member countries, PM Dung said. Therefore, these countries need to work out plans to develop and protect them, particularly the Mekong River, he said.

The prime ministers of ACMECS member countries agreed to boost cooperation in environmental protection by setting up a working group to achieve this.

The summit agreed that the fourth ACMECS Summit will take place in Cambodia in 2010.

Also yesterday, State President Nguyen Minh Triet received the prime ministers of Cambodia, Lao , Myanmar and Thailand who were in Ha Noi to attend the ACMECS Summit and the fourth Summit of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV).

Viet Nam wishes to associate with these four countries in consolidating and expanding cooperation, friendship and solidarity between the ASEAN members and the Greater Mekong Sub-region, said President Triet.

The president also highly appreciated the joint declarations of the ACMECS and CLMV summits.

The business forum of ACMECS and the dialogue between ACMECS leaders and the business community – that were part of the ACMECS summit –  have created new opportunities for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam to develop their cooperation in economics, trade and investment, the President said.

CLMV cooperative projects will contribute to bridging development gaps and improving international integration among ASEAN countries, President Triet added.

ACMECS business community suggests one visa

Many important initiatives have been raised at the dialogue on Nov. 7 between the Prime Ministers of five ACMECS member countries and the representatives of 350 enterprises from the region.

Speaking on behalf of the ACMECS business community, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Hoang Van Dung recommended solutions to boosting cooperation in trade, investment, tourism, human resource development, agricultural production and expansion of the network of twin cities.

“The business community voiced concern about differences in regulations governing cross-border trade and investment protection, and said that the governments should create a harmony in their policies on these issues,” said Mr. Dung.

Business representatives recommended a one-visa mechanism, allowing tourists to travel across the five countries with a single visa, and development of infrastructure along the shared borders to promote trade, investment and tourism.

They also suggested new policies to strengthen cooperation in developing infrastructure, sea ports, electricity, agriculture, training, and import-export tax exemption for equipment and services that serve agricultural production.

By Anh Phuong, Th. Anh – Translated by Truc Thinh

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