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Joint Statement: “Seize Opportunities, Shape the Future”

Update: October, 26/2016 - 17:31

JOINT STATEMENT

Of the 8th Cambodia – Lao PDR – Myanmar – Viet Nam Cooperation Summit

26 October 2016, Hanoi

 

“Seize Opportunities, Shape the Future”

 

1. We, the Heads of State/Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), the Republic of Union of Myanmar and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam (hereinafter referred to as CLMV), gathered in Hanoi, Viet Nam for the 8th CLMV Summit. The Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Executive Secretary of the ESCAP, representatives of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB) also attended the Summit.

2. We noted with satisfaction that the good neighborliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive and long-lasting cooperation among our four countries continue to thrive. Our common interests have expanded through enhanced trade and investment relations, deepening cooperation in a wide range of areas from people – to – people exchange and human resource development to health, transport and the environment.

3. We recalled with satisfaction that since its inception, CLMV cooperation has greatly contributed to the establishment of the ASEAN Community, the narrowing of regional development gap, and the uplifting of the welfare and quality of life of our peoples.

4. We emphasized CLMV’s core mission as a platform to foster close policy coordination and joint actions among the four countries to ensure a future of peace, stability and prosperity. The key objectives of CLMV cooperation continue to be: (i) to support the development of the ASEAN Community through building CLMV’s regional integration capacity and bridging the development gap within ASEAN; (ii) to fully harness member countries’ economic potential and increase trade and investment flows within and among CLMV countries and other regions; (iii) to achieve sustainable and inclusive development in the subregion.

5. We expressed our strong belief in the bright future of CLMV and are confident that CLMV is on the right path of long-term economic growth. Over the past years, CLMV has become one of the world’s most dynamic regions thanks to a series of far-reaching economic reforms and efforts to liberalize and facilitate trade and investment. The growth prospects of the four economies are supported by factors such as rich natural resources, cost competiveness, favorable demographic profile, competitive trade and investment policies, strategic location and close proximity to major markets, and access to the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) market of over 600 million consumers.

6. We are fully aware of the many challenges faced by CLMV countries, including resource and capacity constraints, poor infrastructure, the adverse impacts of climate change, the uncertainties of the global and regional economy and the vulnerabilities of being small and open economies.

7. We met at a critical point of time for CLMV’s development. Only through closer cooperation and coordination could our countries overcome challenges and create a vibrant economic zone that would enjoy inclusive and sustainable development.

8. We affirmed our commitment to work closely together to shape the future of CLMV. To this end, we are determined to move forward with both domestic reforms and closer regional integration to sustain growth momentum and strengthen CLMV’s competitiveness.

9. We stressed the need to continue advancing the structural reform of our economies to ensure efficient labor and capital allocation, to boost growth and increase productivity. We are committed to maintaining macroeconomic stability and creating an enabling  environment where businesses can flourish and people can fully develop their potential.

10. We recognized that enhanced regional connectivity is essential to improving CLMV competiveness and agreed to implement concrete measures toward a seamless regional economy so as to link our economies and markets ever closer together, to the benefit of all, as follows:

10.1. In transport cooperation, we agreed to:

i. Accelerate the construction of missing links and upgrading roads along the North – South Economic Corridor (NSCE), East – West Economic Corridor (EWEC), and the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC).

ii. Construct the expressway of Vientiene – Ha Noi to facilitate the movement of goods and people between the two capitals.

iii. Conduct feasibility study on the route connecting Yangon – Meikhtila – Tarlay – Kenglap (Myanmar) – Xiengkok – Loungnamtha – Oudomxay – Muong Khoa (Lao PDR) – Tay Trang – Ha Noi (Viet Nam).

iv. Facilitate air transport through the implementation of the CLMV Agreement on the Air Transport and other bilateral and multilateral agreements on air services.

10.2. In trade and investment facilitation cooperation:

We reiterated our commitment to implementing all existing agreements between and among CLMV countries.

We commended our CLMV Economic Ministers for the progress in implementing their annual Action Plan and welcomed the outcome of the Eighth CLMV Economic Ministers’ Meeting held on  6th  August 2016 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. We endorsed the Economic Ministers’ plan to develop a Framework for CLMV Development, which aims at advancing economic development, enhancing the capacity to reap the benefits arising from regional integration and raising the living standards of our people. As the Framework is cross-cutting in nature, close cooperation from relevant Ministries in the drafting process is required. We tasked the CLMV Economic Ministers and Senior Officials to submit the Framework for the Leaders’ consideration by the Ninth CLMV Summit in 2018.

We concurred on the need to transform transport corridors into economic corridors and agreed to accelerate the simplification and harmonization of cross-border procedures and further develop industrial zones along the corridors.

We will also take additional measures, including:

i. To promote border trade via harmonizing member countries’ border trade procedures and developing a network of border markets.

ii. To encourage relevant agencies and business sector to organize and participate in trade fairs and investment conferences in the region.

iii. To facilitate the investment of CLMV enterprises in each other’s markets.

iv. To promote cooperation on e-commerce among CLMV through capacity building activities and experience exchanges in developing related policies and legal frameworks.

10.3. In Industrial Cooperation

We encouraged and promoted the cooperation in the field of industry such as industrial policy development, standardization and conformance, and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) policy development among CLMV through regular exchanges on information, experience and the best practices by organizing workshops and training courses, which are to aim at strengthening CLMV countries’ competitive advantages in the region and global market.

10.4. In tourism cooperation:

We noted with satisfaction that the four countries have experienced a steady increase in tourist arrivals in recent years, from 10.9 million in 2010 to 22 million in  2015 with a  year-to-year increase of 12.4%. We welcomed the successful outcomes of the third CLMV Tourism Ministers’ Meeting held on 28th July 2015 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, which endorsed the Action Programme 2016-2018.

 We commended the outcomes of the CLMV Ministers of Tourism and Governors of National Bank meeting at “the Four Countries-One Destination Conference on Connecting Tourism and Expanding Cooperation in Banking Sector” held from 30th July – 1st August 2016, Yangon, Myanmar with the aim to enhance tourism promotion among CLMV countries, to attract investment to promote intra-regional travel of the four countries and to promote CLMV as an attractive single destination.

We recognized that there remain obstacles to the CLMV tourism industry’s growth potential and agreed to take the following actions:

i. To fully implement the 2016 – 2018 Action Plan on Tourism Cooperation, particularly measures to ensure sustainable and responsible tourism.

ii. To encourage greater coordination, exchanges of information and experiences among member countries;

iii. To facilitate the participation of CLMV tourism agencies, associations and enterprises in the regional events and fairs.

iv. To promote public – private partnerships, particularly in tourism promotion activities and tourist product development.

v. To enhance cooperation and promote more air linkages among the CLMV countries.

10.5. In human resource development cooperation:

We appraised the exchange of scholarships, visits and experiences in education and training among CLMV countries.

We recognized that a skilled workforce is an important foundation of sustainable economic growth and successful regional integration. To take advantage of new opportunities brought about by the ASEAN Community, we will continue our cooperation to develop high quality human resources and take the following measures:

i. To continuously implement the CLMV Scholarship Program funded by the Vietnamese Government for the period of 2016-2020.

ii. To establish a database of labor market’s demand and vocational training programs in CLMV countries.

ii. To promote joint programs among CLMV universitites, language training institutions and exchange programs between educational leaders, high officials, experts, teachers, administrators and students.

iv. To promote mutual recognition of qualification among CLMV countries through cooperation in establishing national qualification frameworks that are compatible with ASEAN Qualification Reference Framework (AQRF) and European Qualification Reference Framework (EQRF); to develop CLMV mutual recognition arrangement for teachers and vocational trainers; to select priority professions for common core standards development.

10.6. In other areas such as agriculture and energy, we noted the slow progress in the implementation of cooperation projects and initiatives due to resource constraint. We encouraged our Ministers and Senior Officials to identify ways and means for more practical and effective cooperation.

11. We appreciated the support extended by ASEAN Member States and development partners to CLMV countries, including through the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) and various bilateral and multilateral support programmes. We welcomed the adoption of the IAI Work Plan III by the ASEAN Leaders at the recent 28th ASEAN Summit, which prioritises support to CLMV countries in five strategic areas, namely food and agriculture, trade facilitation, MSMEs, education, and health and well-being. We also commended the ASEAN Secretariat for its continued support to mobilise resources to implement the CLMV priority projects. We called upon other ASEAN Member States and development partners to further enhance their assistance and support to CLMV countries both individually and collectively, including for the implementation of CLMV priority projects (Annex 1). We asked the ASEAN Secretariat and the Senior Officials to work closely to seek financial support for CLMV priority projects, to monitor and review the implementation process and to recommend necessary adjustments.

12. We acknowledged the vital role of the business sector in the development of CLMV economies and therefore reiterated our call for greater participation of the business sector in implementating of CLMV projects and activities.

13. We welcomed the success of the first World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Mekong region, which was initiated and organised by Viet Nam to highlight the great potential of the Mekong region to the international business circle. We emphasized the need of strengthening public-private partnership to realize the vision of a competitive, integrated and prosperous Mekong region.

14. We tasked our Ministers and SOM leaders to follow through on the implementation of this Joint Statement and to periodically report the progress to their respective Heads of State/Governments.

15. To ensure that CLMV cooperation is result and action oriented, building on the past achievements and striving for new progress, we are determined to carry forward CLMV reforms and enhance its coordination with other relevant subregional cooperation frameworks. We tasked the Ministers and Senior Officials to further explore ways to streamline CLMV operational structure and strengthen the synergy between CLMV and the Ayeyawady – Chao Phraya – Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS). The future will be shaped by our actions today.

16. We agreed that the 9th CLMV Summit will be chaired by the Kingdom of Cambodia and will take place in the Kingdom of Thailand in 2018 back-to-back with the 8th  ACMECS Summit. The specific date and venue will be coordinated through diplomatic channels.

17. The Heads of State/Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar expressed their thanks to the Government of Viet Nam for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements of the 8th CLMV Summit.

Adopted in Ha Noi, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam on 26 October 2016.

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