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PM meets with Thai, Myanmar leaders at regional convention

Update: March, 14/2013 - 09:03
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung meets his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra on the sidelines of a regional summit held in Laos. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam

VIENTIANE (VNS)— Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra have agreed to prepare a roadmap for the establishment of the Viet Nam-Thailand Strategic Partnership.

During their meeting on the sidelines of regional summits in Vientiane on Tuesday, the two PMs agreed to instruct their foreign ministries to work closely with relevant agencies and departments to devise the roadmap and hold a meeting of the bilateral joint committee before the end of this year.

They noted the development of the friendship and comprehensive co-operation between the two countries, especially since the second Viet Nam-Thailand Joint Cabinet Retreat last October.

Dung expressed his pleasure at the two countries' efforts to step up economic co-operation, affirming that the Vietnamese Government always created favourable conditions for Thai businesses to invest in Viet Nam.

He extended his hope the Thai Government would continue encouraging its businesses to invest in Viet Nam, especially in the central region, in order to fully tap potential in the East-West Economic Corridor.

The prime ministers reached a consensus on protecting the environment and water resources of the Mekong River.

They voiced their support for ASEAN's stance, as stated in the Declaration on Six-Point Principles on the East Sea, relating to the maintenance of peace, stability and safe and free navigation in the East Sea; the peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the East Sea (DOC), towards building a Code of Conduct on the East Sea (COC).

In 2013, Thailand is set to host the 3rd Thai-Vietnamese Joint Cabinet Retreat and the 3rd Asia-Pacific Water Summit, which Viet Nam is invited to join.

Myanmar meeting

Also on the sidelines, Dung held a meeting with Myanmar Vice President Sai Mauk Kham yesterday, during which they sought measures to strengthen bilateral co-operation.

Viet Nam attached great importance to enhancing the traditional friendship and close co-operation with Myanmar, Dung said.

He affirmed Viet Nam's support for Myanmar's successful assumption of the ASEAN chair next year, expressing his hope for Myanmar's early membership of the Mekong River Commission.

For his part, Sai Mauk Kham praised Viet Nam's active role and contributions to peace and stability in the region and in building the ASEAN community.

The two leaders agreed to increase the exchange of delegations and people-to-people diplomacy while expanding co-operation between localities.

They were unanimous on the need to implement already reached agreements, focusing on 12 priorities, and to bring into full play co-operation mechanisms to realise two-way trade of at least US$500 million by 2015.

The two sides will also work closely at regional and international forums, especially ASEAN and the United Nations, ACMECS and GMS.

At the same time, they will co-ordinate with other ASEAN member countries to promote the common stand and central role played by the bloc in dealing with regional issues, including those regarding the East Sea .

These meetings were held on the sidelines of the 6th Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Viet Nam Summit (CLMV 6), the 5th Ayeyawadi-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy Summit (ACMECS 5), and the 7th Cambodia-Laos-Viet Nam Development Triangle Summit (CLV 7).

Focal points

At the fifth ACMECS in Vientiane yesterday, Dung said the Ayeyawadi-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy Summit (ACMECS) should focus on increasing the competitiveness of its member nations by linking markets, forming regional production and supply chains and improving the quality of human resources.

During the event, chaired by Lao PM Thongsing Thammavong, the Vietnamese leader said that joint efforts at ACMECS should support the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015 and ensure regional sustainable development, as well as improving management of the natural resources found in the Ayeyawadi, Chao Phraya and Mekong Rivers.

Promoting trade, investment and tourism collaboration was also important, Dung said. There was much to be done when it came to improving the business environment and promoting regional connectivity through the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) and other transnational transport routes.

At the summit, leaders adopted the Vientiane Declaration and the ACMECS action programme for the 2013-15 period, which aims to link ACMECS cooperation with the building of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015 and the implementation of the master plan on ASEAN connectivity and raise ACMECS member nations' competitiveness and position in global production and supply chains.

The conference reviewed 10 years of ACMESC cooperation, the implementation of the Phnom Penh Declaration and the 2010-12 action programme in priority cooperation fields such as trade and investment, agriculture, industry and energy, transport, tourism, human resource development, healthcare, social welfare and the environment.

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the targets of the Bagan Declaration for the sake of good neighbourliness, peace, stability and development in the region.

Over the past years, Viet Nam's combined trade turnover with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand rose from $7.1 billion in 2009 to $12.8 billion in 2012.

ACMECS 6 will be held in Myanmar next year.

PM Dung and other leaders also talked with the ACMECS business sector, pledging to further improve the business environment and facilitate trade and investment exchange to make ACMECS a priority for regional and global businesses.

The efforts of the five countries' governments to promote regional cooperation would be in vain without support from the business sector, leaders agreed. — VNS

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