|Economic ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam pose for a photo at their 11th meeting in Bangkok on September 5
The event, held within the framework of the 51st ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings in Bangkok from September 3 to 10, attracted Secretary of State at the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce Sok Sopheak, Lao Minister of Industry and Commerce Khemmani Pholsena, Myanmar Minister of Investment and External Economic Relations Thaung Tun, and Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, along with representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat.
In his speech, the Vietnamese minister underlined the role and significance of the CLMV cooperation mechanism in enhancing the countries’ economic and trade ties, engaging the countries in regional value chains, and helping narrow their development gap with the remaining members of ASEAN.
He called on the four countries to continue coordinating their efforts and resources to boost connectivity in transport infrastructure, trade and logistics; supporting one another to carry out trade, investment and tourism promotion activities; working together to facilitate trade and transportation; and enhancing cooperation and consultation among themselves to have common voices to protect their interests in regional and Mekong sub-regional cooperation mechanisms.
Minister Anh also thanked the ASEAN Secretariat for its active assistance and asked it to continue helping coordinate CLMV cooperation activities and connect CLMV programmes and projects with ASEAN’s development partners and dialogue partners.
At the meeting, the ministers applauded the outcomes of the implementation of the CLMV action plans for 2017-2018 and 2019-2020.
They noted under the plan for 2017-2018, cooperation to carry out annual trade promotion activities like fairs and expos has helped fuel trade and connect businesses of the CLMV.
These activities should be maintained and enterprises of the countries further encouraged to take part in, they said, adding that it is also necessary to organise forums to introduce investment and business chances in the CLMV.
Regarding human resources development, the officials appreciated Vietnam’s annual provision of scholarships for students of Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar while recognising the effectiveness of the internship programme at the ASEAN Secretariat in improving the capacity and skills for the CLMV governments’ staff. They also called on the ASEAN Secretariat to continue seeking development partners to supply funding so that more staff members of the CLMV governments can join in this programme.
Apart from annual cooperation activities like trade fairs and scholarship provision, the CLMV Action Plan for 2019-2020 has also supplemented some activities to assist the four nations to realise regional commitments; included projects supporting micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises; and updated on the building progress of a framework for the CLMV development.
Concluding the meeting, the ministers affirmed that they will work closely together to successfully carry out the CLMV action plans and effectively implement the CLMV development framework in the years to come.
They also asked the ASEAN Secretariat to continue helping their countries call on development partners to support the CLMV cooperation mechanism and build an implementation plan for the CLMV development framework after it is approved by the countries’ leaders.