President U Win Myint attends 8th ACMECS Summit, 9th Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Viet Nam Summit
16 June, 2018
President U Win Myint attended the opening ceremony of the 8th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Summit held at the Bangkok Shangri-La Hotel yesterday morning.
The 8th ACMECS Summit opening ceremony was attended by Vietnamese Prime Minister Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc and wife, Thai Prime Minister (retired General) Mr. Prayuth Chan-O-Cha and wife, Cambodia Prime Minister Mr. Samdech Hun Sen, Laos Prime Minister Mr. Thongloun Sisoulith and wife, ministers, deputy ministers and high ranking officials from Myanmar, Viet Nam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) from ACMECS member countries, business persons and officials.
Upon his arrival at the ACMECS Summit opening ceremony, President U Win Myint was welcomed by Thai Prime Minister Mr. Prayuth Chan-O-Cha after which they took a commemorative photo.
At the opening ceremony, the documentary video of the establishment of ACMECS, congratulatory messages of heads of governments of partner countries, ministers and heads of organizations were shown.
The opening ceremony came to a close after 8th ACMECS Summit Chairman Thai Prime Minister delivered an opening speech.
After the ceremony the President took commemorative photos with Prime Ministers of Viet Nam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos and viewed the exhibits of ACMECS member countries in the exhibition.
Next, the President attended the 8th ACMECS Summit held at Shangri-La Hotel under the theme “Towards an integrated and connected Mekong Community.” At the summit 8th ACMECS Summit Chairman Thai Prime Minister delivered an opening speech. Next, the results and suggestions of ACMECS economic forum were submitted by Thai ACMECS Economic Council Chairman and Thai Chamber of Commerce Deputy Chairman Mr. Sanun Angubolkul.
Following this, speeches were delivered by Cambodia Prime Minister Mr. Samdech Hun Sen and Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.
Afterwards, President U Win Myint delivered his speech.
Reviewing ACMECS Cooperation
The President said ACMECS Cooperation was born in Bagan, Myanmar 15 years ago and since then it has played a significant role in enhancing regional stability, promoting inclusive sustainable development, narrowing development gaps and strengthening bonds of amity among the peoples of the five Mekong countries based on the spirit of the existing friendship and good neighbourliness.
The Mekong Region occupies a strategic location and is blessed with an abundance of human and natural resources. This immense potential needed to be utilized effectively to transform the Mekong region into an integrated and connected community, as featured in the theme of today’s meeting: “Towards an Integrated and Connected Mekong Community”.
The 7th ACMECS Summit agreed to carry forward ACMECS reforms aimed at improving its efficiency. Following that decision, today’s meeting marks a transformative step for ACMECS by the adoption of the “ACMECS Master Plan 2019-2023” proposed by Thailand.
Future Direction of ACMECS
It was imperative to enhance the development of transport, energy and digital infrastructure, as featured under the first pillar of the ACMECS Master Plan.
Myanmar was focusing its efforts on doubling the production of electric energy as well as on speeding up the development of multi-modal transport infrastructures which would connect the missing links along the regional economic corridors, especially the East West Economic Corridor and the Southern Economic Corridor.
Myanmar was working towards the establishment of an effective e-government system while giving the same level of attention to the secure and efficient application of ICT technologies among her businesses and societies.
Institutional synchronization, harmonization and simplification of rules and regulations on trade and investment among our ACMECS countries play a crucial role in promoting regional trade and investment facilitation.
Myanmar always welcomes responsible foreign investment. He believed that ACMECS cooperation would greatly contribute to an increase in investment from ACMECS countries in Myanmar.
Agriculture and Food
Agriculture played a significant part in fighting poverty and narrowing the regional development gap. Agricultural development of ACMECS countries should be empowered by sharing best agricultural practices, experiences, technological know-how and market information.
Development of green and responsible tourism played a significant role in creating incomes and job opportunities for the people of ACMECS countries. He would like to encourage our member countries to implement the agreed concept of “Five Countries, One Destination”.
As the private sector was the key driving force for the economic development of our countries in this region, resources from the private sector should be effectively utilized in regional cooperation programmes through PPP initiatives.
Social, Cultural and People-to-people Relations
As people-to-people connectivity is one of the key factors for creating an integrated and connected Mekong community, we need to identify opportunities that allow more people-to-people contacts through cultures, education and social perspectives.
ACMECS Master Plan 2019-2023 and Myanmar’s Priorities and Needs
I would like to stress the fact that our ACMECS cooperation activities must be in line with our national development strategies, our needs and priorities, as well as with activities of other regional cooperation frameworks including ASEAN.
I am pleased to note that hardware infrastructure, software connectivity and human resources development, which are the main pillars of the ACMECS Master Plan, were in line with Myanmar’s priorities and needs.
Relations with Development Partners
I would like to welcome Thailand’s initiative of engaging development partners and international and regional organizations with a view to seeking potential funding and technical support for ACMECS cooperation.
In conclusion, as Myanmar always attached great importance to cooperation with the countries in the Mekong sub-region, he would like to reiterate Myanmar’s commitment to continue active cooperation with the member countries under the ACMECS cooperation framework, based on the spirit of existing friendship, good neighbourliness, mutual respect and mutual benefits said the President.
Following the speech of the President, Vietnamese Prime Minister Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc and ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi delivered their speeches.
After this, the summit came to a close after the ACMECS Summit Chairmanship was transferred from Thai Prime Minister to Cambodia Prime Minister Mr. Samdech Hun Sen.
President U Win Myint attended the 9th Cambodia-Lao-Myanmar-Viet Nam (9th CLMV) Summit held at the Bangkok Shangri-La Hotel.
The summit was attended by Cambodia Prime Minister Mr. Samdech Hun Sen, Vietnamese Prime Minister Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Lao Prime Minister Mr. Thongloun Sisoulith, ministers, deputy ministers and high ranking officials from Myanmar, Viet Nam, Cambodia and Lao and other officials.
The summit was chaired by Cambodia Prime Minister Mr. Samdech Hun Sen who delivered an opening speech.
Next, in his speech to the summit, the President said although CLMV countries possessed a great potential for further development, they were still encountering formidable challenges such as limited human resources, inadequate infrastructure, impact of climate change, and frequent changes in the global political and economic paradigm.
Even though, CLMV countries are situated in a geographically important location and have the advantage of low labour costs, there still remained factors that prevented their businesses from integrating deeply into the Asian network of production, goods and services. The constraints are, in particular, poor logistic infrastructure and inadequacies in the creation of favourable investment environments. Therefore, they should focus on the upgrading of weak transport and logistics infrastructures in the Mekong Sub-region.
PPP and transport/logistic infrastructure
Several logistic infrastructure projects in the Mekong sub-region are being implemented by other mechanisms and organizations such as the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) and the Asia Development Bank (ADB). Therefore, it is important to coordinate closely with these programmes in order to achieve maximum efficiency and benefits. We should also take into consideration the Private-Public-Partnership scheme as one of the more effective methods for the implementation of our infrastructure projects. The implementation of regional agreements such as the ASEAN Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Goods in Transit is crucial for greater economic integration and connectivity among CLMV countries.
It should be noted that trade facilitation through the construction or upgrading of logistic infrastructures is not enough to attract investments and industrial firms to our sub-region. Our governments need to launch specific policy measures to attract investment and industry to our region.
A favourable climate for trade promotion can only be established through the enactment of simple and harmonizing domestic trade laws, rules and regulation in each of our countries. This require us to work together more closely.
One of the fundamental essentials for economic integration among our countries is human resources development. Most countries invest heavily in academic-oriented education while much less attention is paid to vocational training. The advantages of academic-oriented education are numerous but it is becoming increasingly clear that vocational training meets faster and more effectively the demands of the rapidly changing technological and economic panorama of our age. This was particularly time for developing countries. Therefore, I would like to suggest that we give priority to vocational training within the CLMV cooperation framework.
Capacity building for Public Administrators
To implement our economic and development policies effectively in a synchronized manner, and manage infrastructures efficiently in the CLMV countries, it is essential to understand the policies and working mechanism of our cooperation and to raise the administrative skills of our public administrators to the required level. We should, therefore, utilize our cooperation framework to build up the capacity of public administrators.
Inter Mekong-Cooperations Connectivity Mechanism
Although there are a number of cooperation mechanisms operating in our sub-region and the areas of cooperation between different countries differ slightly, I would like to suggest that it will be beneficial to both CLMV and other cooperation mechanisms if we were to create a mechanism that enable the effective synchronization of activities among all cooperation mechanisms in the Mekong Sub-region, and thus enables us to support and complement each other.
Framework for Economic development
I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the Economic Ministers for the progress that has been made on the CLMV Framework for Economic Development. I hoped this would be finalized speedily as I believe it would serve as a roadmap for the implementation of our meeting’s theme: ‘For Greater Economic Integration and Connectivity.’
Poverty eradication and food security still posed a big challenge for CLMV countries. The increased cooperation on the facilitation of the agriculture sector will generate more income for farmers and businesses, and also provide a sustainable food supply as well as satisfactory nutrition for the peoples of Mekong countries. At this point, we need to enhance their cooperation on agricultural data and information sharing, exchange of best practices, joint research and policy coordination. I believe that the contract farming system represented one of the best potentials for benefit sharing among our countries.
The essential element for achieving development in the Mekong countries is sustainable energy supply. We should therefore enhance cross-border power trade in the region: it could fulfill regional energy demands and be mutually beneficial to both parties.
Although today’s price of fossil fuel based energy was far lower than that of renewable green energy, We CLMV governments must do our best to increase investment in the wider use of renewable energy, technical cooperation, research and development, and cooperation in renewable green energy strategy as a long-term gift for their future generations.
A sustained and predictable funding system was the key to the success of every cooperation mechanism. In this regard, I welcome the proposal that the alternate/rotating chair of CLMV will seek the funding for CLMV projects through the ASEAN Secretariat.
Today, countries throughout the world are facing complicated challenges in various sectors and challenges which cannot be overcome by a single country alone. Countries of similar cultures, historical backgrounds and ideologies must unite to confront these challenges under the CLMV framework. This is the best way of converting global challenges into regional opportunities for inclusive sustainable development.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that Myanmar is committed to the enhancement of the momentum of cooperation not only with the CLMV, but also with other regional cooperation mechanisms, said the President.
After the speech of the President, the Vietnamese Prime Minister and Laotion Prime Minister discussed about policy matters on cooperation.
The summit then came to a close after the CLMV chairmanship was transferred from Cambodia Prime Minister to Laotion Prime Minister.
After the summit and before the luncheon, the President, Prime Ministers of Viet Nam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Lao took commemorative group photo with CEOs from ACMECS member countries who attended the ACMECS CEO Forum.
After this, the President attended the luncheon hosted by Thai Prime Minister.
Later in the afternoon, President U Win Myint met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Shangri-La Hotel guest hall and discussed increasing bilateral relations and cooperation, increasing cooperation in ASEAN and the international arena.
President U Win Myint, First Lady Daw Cho Cho and party left Thailand for Nay Pyi Taw by special flight at local standard time 3:30 p.m.
The President and First Lady was seen off by Dr. Chirayu, Lord Chamberlain of the Household, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Somkid Jatusripitak and wife, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Mr. Suwapan Tanyu-wattana and wife, Myanmar Ambassador to Thailand U Myo Myint Than and wife, Thai Ambassador to Myanmar Mr. Jukr Boon-Long and wife, Myanmar Military Attache (Army, Navy, Air) to Thailand Brig-Gen Khin Zaw and officials from Myanmar Embassy at the Royal Thai Air Force Wing 6, Bangkok, Thailand.
The President, First Lady and party arrived to Nay Pyi Taw at 5 p.m. and were welcomed by Vice Presidents U Myint Swe and U Henry Van Thio, Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman Dr. Myo Aung and wife, Nay Pyi Taw Command commander Maj-Gen Myint Maw, Deputy Minister U Min Thu, Charge d’affaires of the Embassy of Thailand to Myanmar and other officials in Nay Pyi Taw International Airport.