Opening Speech at the 6th CLV Summit
Phnom Penh, 16th November 2010
H.E. Mr. Bouasone Bouphavanh, PM of the Lao PDR,
H.E. Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung, PM of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!
First of all, let me extend my warmest welcome to Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen to this 6th CLV Summit held in the capital city of Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia. I hope our meeting today will not only further advance the cooperation among our three CLV countries, but also contribute to the development and prosperity of our region.
We meet today to review the progress made since the last Summit and to adopt a newly revised Master Plan 2010-2020 in order to fast track our cooperation activities in our CLV Development Triangle Area. The strengthening of cooperation is truly crucial in the regional and global context after the recent global financial crisis.
I would like to highly appreciate the achievements made, especially in the area of trade and investment promotion through the organization of related trade fairs and conferences, as well as related measures such as the simplification of export procedures and business registration processes and the granting of tax incentives in order to boost private business and investment in the region.
In this regard, I would like to note with satisfaction that the signing by the CLV Joint Coordination Committee of the amended MOU toward the Establishment of Special Preferential Policies for the CLV Development Triangle Area, as well as the effective consultations and cooperative efforts made by the CLV Joint Coordination Committee in successfully completing this newly revised Master Plan to be submitted to the Summit for endorsement.
However, I believe that we must do our utmost to accelerate the implementation before schedules of all bilateral and multilateral agreements in the Development Triangle Area by putting them on a faster track list than the original schedule, particularly the Cross Border Transport Agreement (CBTA), the ASEAN Economic Blueprint, the Bilateral Trade Agreements, the ACMECS Rice Cooperation and Contract Farming Projects and the ASEAN Single Window.
In order to achieve our vision of a harmonious and prosperous Development Triangle Area by the year 2020 in the context that our CLV countries are facing the shortages of financial resources for the implementation of the many programs and projects under the Master Plan 2010-2020, I believe that, firstly, we should commit to primarily shortlisting a number of prioritized projects from our cooperation sectors, such as infrastructure, trade and investment, social development and cultural conservation, agro-industry, tourism, and environment.
Since financing remains a big challenge for all of us, I would suggest that we address this issue by initiating the establishment of a CLV Fund to mobilize financial resources to fund these projects. Indeed, the Government of Japan has already provided a USD 20 million grant for the development of the Triangle Area in order ensure concrete and fruitful outcome of this cooperation. But it is still not adequate. Thus, we should continue to engage Japan and other development partners in order to mobilize more financial resources for the CLV Fund. This will be used to finance projects in our Development Triangle Area. One of the options is that we can propose to Japan to consider transferring some funds in the framework of Mekong-Japan Cooperation Fund to the CLV Fund.
Finally, I believe that the rich endowment in natural resources, more cohesive cooperation among our respective CLV members, along with the support by our development partners, would provide us with the opportunities to realize our CLV objectives in promoting growth, employment and income generation that will tremendously improve the welfare of our peoples in the CLV countries. This will also significantly contribute to the joint efforts to promote regional integration, especially in building the ASEAN Community.
I wish our deliberation a great success and may I now declare the opening of the 6th CLV Summit! Thank you for your attention!
Opening Speech at the 5th CLMV Summit
Phnom Penh, 16th November 2010
H.E. Mr. Bouasone BOUPHAVANH, PM of the Lao PDR
H.E. Mr. Thein Sein, PM of the Union of Myanmar
H.E. Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung, PM of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
H.E.Mr. Surin Pitsuwan, ASEAN Secretary General
Distinguished Delegates of the LMV countries
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, on behalf of the Royal Government and People of Cambodia, I would like to express my warmest welcome and heart-felt thanks to the Heads of CLMV Governments and their delegation for their kind participation at this August Summit in Phnom Penh. Cambodia is very honored and fortunate indeed to host the meeting, in particular while our region has just recovered from the global economic and financial crisis.
This Fifth Summit is of great significance. It offers us opportunity to reaffirm our determination to deepen the traditional relations between our people and country based on our long friendship, good neighborliness and mutual benefits by promoting the implementation of the goals set in the 2004 Vientiane Declaration.
The Summit is very timely as ASEAN is accelerating the process of ASEAN Community building by 2015. Conceptually, the CLMV cooperation was incepted with the objectives of strengthening and accelerating the integration of the four countries with the other six ASEAN members in order to narrow development gap. There were concerns from the early stage about duplication and proliferation of sub-regional frameworks as there are many sub-regional frameworks intended to facilitate integration of the CLMV countries aiming at narrowing development gap such as, the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS), the ASEAN Mekong Basin Development Cooperation (AMBDC), the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), the CLV Development Triangles, the Mekong River Commission (MRC), the East West Corridor, the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) etc.
However, we have witnessed that since the first CLMV Summit in Vientiane, the CLMV cooperation has evolved from the designing of cooperation mechanism into action plans in 9 areas of cooperation namely, coordination of economic integration policies, trade and investment facilitation and promotion, agriculture, industry and energy, transport, information and communication strategy (ICT), tourism, human resource development and health care. In addition, we successfully adopted the revised CLMV Plan of Action at the third CLMV Summit in Cebu, the Philippines and adopted 58 projects at the Fourth CLMV Summit in Hanoi in 2008. Therefore, we were able to ensure that there was no duplication of action plans, but it enhances synergy with other cooperation frameworks, especially the ACMECS cooperation. The prioritization of the projects for implementation, both short and medium term, will enhance CLMV cooperation to bring about a much better and fruitful results.
At present, we have deepened our cooperation in all sectors. In this regard, taking this opportunity, I would like to commend the successful conclusion of the CLMV Cultural Ministers’ Meeting in January 2010 in Myanmar and the first CLMV Economic Ministers’ Meeting in August this year in Danang, Vietnam.
We should incorporate the CLMV infrastructure projects into the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity that the ASEAN Leaders adopted at the recent ASEAN Summit in Hanoi, because the CLMV development projects will not only serve the objectives of narrowing development gaps in Mekong sub-region, but also will definitely contribute to the tremendous efforts to realize ASEAN Community by 2015. Since financing remains a key challenge for CLMV, the incorporation of CLMV’s projects into the Master Plan of ASEAN connectivity is part of our innovative and creative mechanism to engage ASEAN Dialogue Partners and other development partners to participate in projects of their best interest.
Narrowing the development gap is one of the key components of ASEAN Community roadmap. To this end, CLMV has to enhance cooperation in building and implementing projects under the 2nd IAI Work Plan framework and enhance cooperation with regional and international institution such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and Dialogue Partners to implement necessary studies and assessment to identify common challenges and necessary measures to promote trade and investment among CLMV countries including trade facilitation and the establishment of border markets.
Finally, I can conclude that we have taken a major step forward with confidence in order to strengthen our CLMV cooperation to serve the interests of our countries and peoples. The next priority is to push our activities forward toward actual implementation to achieve concrete results in the near future. Let us not wait for the completion and perfection of the entire package. Small victories, gained early, will pave our common road to overall good results over the long haul.
In this sense, I wish our summit a successful and fruitful discussion for the high benefit to our people and nations.
“Reviewing Cooperation Progress and Future Directions for CLMV Cooperation”
at the 5th CLMV Summit
Phnom Penh, 16th November 2010
– Excellencies, Heads of the Government of CLMV Countries
– Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
This Fifth Summit is an opportunity for us as the Leaders of CLMV countries to provide further guidance on the implementation of the revised action plan and the projects adopted at the 4th Summit in Hanoi in 2008 and set future direction for our joint cooperation.
I am pleased that our officials eventually were able to ensure that there is no duplication of CLMV action plan with other cooperation mechanisms particularly at the project levels. We have totally 58 projects in which 10 projects submitted by Cambodia, 3 projects by Laos, 26 projects by Myanmar and 19 projects by Vietnam. However, the tasks ahead of us are not just to work out innovative and creative mechanism but also to seek out sources of financing in order to translate the projects into actual implementation.
Cambodia highly appreciates and thanks Vietnam for providing scholarship to train students of CLM member countries. This is a part of fruitful cooperation in HRD. Cambodia has given high priority to promote trade and investment with member countries, including the establishment of border markets and border trade activities. Trade fair is also a practical and easy starting project which will help increase trade and investment flows among the CLMV countries and between CLMV countries and countries in the region and around the world. In this regard, I sincerely thank Vietnam for successfully hosting the 1st CLMV Economic Ministers’ Meeting.
Cooperation in transport is also indispensable for all CLMV countries that want to make the best use of economic corridors across the CLMV countries such as the East-West Economic Corridor, the Southern Economic Corridor under the GMS. In this regard, I would like to reiterate that Cambodia gives a high priority to the construction of a railway link that connects Cambodia to Vietnam from Bat Deng to Loc Ninh under the Singapore-Kunming Rail Link project, and we have taken necessary measures to seek support from relevant partners.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!
As financing remains a key challenge for all of us to move CLMV cooperation forward, I would like to share with you my humble thoughts as follows:
Firstly, we should expedite the implementation of CLMV projects supported by Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), in order to seek funding for new projects.
Secondly, we should enhance cooperation with ASEAN Secretariat and its dialogue partners to seek financing for those projects that are under the IAI framework.
Thirdly, we will submit 16 prioritized projects chosen by each CLMV countries to seek support from the development partners.
Fourthly, we should encourage participation of the private sector in executing those projects;
Another important point in promoting implementation of this cooperation is a consideration on the necessity of setting up a monitoring mechanism to oversee the implementation of action plan and its projects that we have put forward. We should task our SOM Officials to regularly meet and update the Leaders on the implementation progress of CLMV project.
Opening Speech at the 4th ACMECS Summit
Phnom Penh, Peace Palace, 17th November 2010
– H.E. Mr. Bouasone BOUPHAVANH, PM of the Lao PDR
– H.E. Mr. Thein Sein, PM of the Union of Myanmar
– H.E. Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, PM of the Kingdom of Thailand
– H.E. Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung, PM of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
– H.E Mr. Surin Pitsuwan, ASEAN Secretary General
– Distinguished Delegates of the ACMECS countries
– Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
This is an auspicious day for the Kingdom of Cambodia to host the 4th ACMECS Summit. On behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia, I would like to extend my warmest welcome and heart-felt thanks to the Heads of ACMECS Governments and delegations for your participation in this august Summit in Phnom Penh held in the newly built «Peace Palace».
Allow me to recall briefly the history of our ACMECS cooperation, before casting an eye on to the future. There is no doubt that we have come a long way since the first Summit in Bagan in 2003, then the second Summit in Bangkok in 2005, and the third Summit in Hanoi in 2008. Initially, there were only four members in the ACMECS cooperation, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. Later on Vietnam was admitted in November 2004 at the ACMECS Ministerial Retreat in Krabi, Thailand, and became the fifth member.
The Bagan Declaration adopted at the fist Summit spells out five priority areas of cooperation under ACMECS namely, (i) trade and investment facilitation; (ii) agricultural and industrial cooperation; (iii) transport linkages; (iv) tourism cooperation; and (v) human resources development. In 2006, health sector was added as a new sector of cooperation. Afterwards, agriculture and industrial cooperation was split into two separate sectors of cooperation in order to reflect the increased importance of each sector. Later on at the Summit held in Hanoi, we agreed to add environment as the 8th sector of cooperation in order to address the issues related to the threat to the environment.
This enlargement well underlines how all member countries have attached importance to this shared sub-regional economic cooperation strategy. More importantly, we should be pleased that the ACMECS has been integrated into the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. Indeed, ACMECS connectivity will not only contribute to the vision of ASEAN Connectivity but also to the ASEAN community building by 2015.
I am pleased to stress that we have made a lot progress in all areas of ACMECS cooperation. However, I believe that more efforts will be required in order to elevate ACMECS cooperation to a level that we wish to be. Indeed, further efforts in facilitation of trade, investment and tourism will further boost economic growth and social progress.
The issue of climate change is of critical importance for our future. Last month, in a number of ACMECS member countries, including Cambodia, there were unusual heavy rains and flooding in some parts of the countries. It is also a constant reminder that the impact of climate change is here to stay and may cause unpredictable damages in the future, especially to the poor. In this spirit, ACMECS countries need to join hands to tackle the impacts of climate change. Thus, I welcome the establishment of the ACMECS Environment Working Group, co-chaired by Cambodia and Vietnam.
At the same time, climate change has had considerable impact on agriculture, especially rice production. Therefore, it is important that our cooperation in rice production and exports need to be further strengthened. ACMECS countries can be considered as a «rice bowl» of the world. Thailand and Vietnam are ranked first and second respectively in terms of rice export to the world market. Myanmar also has high potential in this sector. Given the potential in the country and the opportunity in the regional and global market, the Royal Government of Cambodia has given high priority in promoting rice production and export by launching recently «the Policy on Rice Production and Export Promotion». Thus, I would like to take this opportunity to commend the efforts made by our ACMECS SOM and Economic Ministers for the finalization of the ACMECS Rice Cooperation initiative.
To achieve the objectives and vision set out in the summit’s Declaration and Action Plan, efforts made by our governments alone are not adequate. We should crate favorable conditions for and encourage active participation of the private sector. Their support and participation at the project implementation level will have tremendous impact on the development of ACMECS countries and the realization of ACMECS’ vision. In this regards, the ACMECS governments have an important role to play to create additional opportunities for the private sector to participate in the ACMECS cooperation.
Moreover, the development and progress of ACMECS cooperation cannot be separated from the support and assistance from our development partners. As ACMECS is a part of the ASEAN Connectivity, we should join hands to mobilize support in both financial and technical resources for the implementation of ACMECS projects. I believe that these are the important points of agenda for our discussions at today’s summit.
Finally, I wish to reiterate the support for the shared vision of development among Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam (CLMTV). I strongly believe that the successful implementation of the Economic Cooperation Strategy will fulfill the shared development vision of our nations, namely long-term peace and stability, development and prosperity for all of our people.
I would like to declare the opening of the 4th ACMECS Summit and wish our deliberation successful.
Remarks at the 4th ACMECS Summit
on ACMECS Cooperation and Future Direction
Phnom Penh, 17th November 2010
– Excellencies Heads of the Governments of ACMECS Countries
– Excellency Secretary General of ASEAN
– Distinguished Delegates of the ACMECS countries
– Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!
This fourth ACMECS Summit is not just an important milestone all of us to review the progress of ACMECS Projects after the implementation of the Bagan Declaration, but also provides new opportunity for us to set the future direction for deeper and more comprehensive ACMECS cooperation. Indeed, this Summit is an opportunity to reiterate our firm commitments to implement the ACMECS Plan of Action (2010-2012) in order to realize the vision of building good neighborliness among member countries, promoting peace, stability and sustainable development in our region.
I have noted that we have made some progress in all areas of cooperation, especially in implementing a number of bilateral and common projects in trade facilitation and investment, agricultural cooperation, transport linkages, tourism and human resource development. However, I think we have not done our best to implement all projects that we have prepared. Therefore, I believe much more efforts will be needed to elevate ACMECS cooperation to a higher level to further contribute to narrowing the development gap and reducing poverty in the region. At the same time, we also need to exert our greatest efforts to promote projects in the areas of industry and energy cooperation and the establishment of wholesale markets along the borders, and other common projects, which require substantial investments.
The ACMECS cooperation should be geared towards vigorously and continuously implementing its existing strategy. We have to promote the development of agricultural sector to a new height to strengthen and diversify the base of economic growth as well as to promote poverty reduction for our peoples. There is no doubt, that agriculture must be a priority under all circumstances because this sector does not only play leading role in food security, but also helps maintain political stability and accelerate the pace of socio-economic development.
The steady increase in foods prices can affect our respective economies. But, if we look from another angle, I would say that higher food prices also present opportunity for developing countries to increase investment in agriculture in order to boost productivity and export of agricultural products. We should appreciate the fact that ACMECS countries produce about 62.05 million tons of milled rice per annum, accounting for 13% of the world’s total rice production, and we export to the world approximately 16.61 million tons per year, or 45% of the world rice exports. Therefore, I believe that cooperation in rice production and trade would not only further strengthen our position on the world market, but also help significantly contribute to the promotion of the living standard of our farmers.
Moreover, having realized the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change, which could result in natural calamity, I highly appreciate the creation of the Working Group on Environment, which is co-chaired by Cambodia and Vietnam. We hope that the working group will produce fruitful and tangible outcome as expected.
For the ACMECS’s future direction, I strongly believe that we should mobilize our resources and double our efforts to implement the existing projects and flagship projects as well as trying our utmost efforts to implement the ACMECS Plan of Action 2010-2012. In this regard, we should mandate our Ministers and Senior Officials to closely monitor and provide guidance to the respective working groups of the eight Sectors of ACMECS by focusing on the implementation at the project level.
Taking this valuable opportunity, I would like to encourage all development partners of ACMECS countries to provide financial support and technical assistance to ensure successful implementation of the ACMECS projects. At the same time, I would like also to appeal to our ASEAN Secretary General to help mobilize all the available resources in order to realize the ACMECS’s vision, as it will make major contribution to the efforts of reducing gap within the region as well as to build ASEAN Community.
Together with this milestone of ACMECS cooperation, I strongly believe that we will make further progress in achieving the ACMECS cooperation’s objectives of fostering regional prosperity and welfare of our peoples.
The Outcomes of the 6th CLV Summit,
the 5th CLMV Summit and the 4th ACMECS Summit
1. From 16th to 17th October 2010 Cambodia hosted and chaired the 6th CLV Summit, the 5th CLMV Summit and the 4th ACMECS Summit. The Summits were held at the Peace Palace, Phnom Penh and chaired by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The main outcomes of these Summits are the following:
I. The 6th CLV Summit
2. The Summit was held to review progress and set out future direction of the CLV cooperation.
3. The meeting took note of the progress of cooperation in the CLV Triangle Development Area, especially the achievements made in the area of trade and investment, including the organization of trade fairs; conferences on trade, investment and tourism promotion; simplification of export procedures and business registration processes; and the granting of tax incentives to boost investment in the region.
4. The meeting adopted the revised Socio-Economic Development Master Plan in the CLV Development Triangle Area (2010-2020) and given high priority to a number of sectors, such as physical infrastructure, trade and investment facilitation, social and cultural development, agro-industry and tourism…etc. with a view to accelerating socio-economic development and poverty reduction, which are crucial for realizing the vision of creating a harmonious and prosperous Development Triangle Area by the year 2020.
5. The meeting made a firm commitment to promoting this cooperation through the adoption of «the Phnom Penh Declaration on Deepening of Cooperation in the Development Triangle Area» and the amended the «MOU on the Special Preferential Policies for CLV Development Triangle Area».
6. Moreover, the meeting was resolved to accelerate the implementation of the bilateral and multilateral agreements in the Development Triangle Area, particularly the Cross Border Transport Agreement of the GMS, the ASEAN Economic Blueprint, bilateral trade agreements, the Rice Cooperation and Contract Farming Projects and the ASEAN Single Window.
II. The 5th CLMV Summit
7. The Summit was held to review progress and set out future direction of the CLMV cooperation.
8. The CLMV cooperation was established to narrow development gap and to accelerate the integration of the four countries in order to catch up with the other six ASEAN members. As a result, since the 1st CLMV Summit held in Vientiane, under the CLMV cooperation an Action Plan covering 9 areas of cooperation was adopted and include the following sectors: (1) coordination of economic integration policies, (2) trade and investment facilitation and promotion, (3) agriculture, (4) industry and energy, (5) transport, (6) information and communication technology (ICT), (7) tourism, (8) human resource development and (9) health care. In this framework, 58 concrete projects were adopted at the 4th CLMV Summit in Hanoi in 2008.
9. At this CLMV Summit, the meeting adopted the Joint Declaration of the 5th CLMV Summit to reaffirm their determination to promote cooperation in the 9 areas and to deepen the traditional relationships based on the long-lasting friendship, good neighborliness and mutual benefits among the CLMV Countries.
10. As financing remains a key challenge, the meeting was determined to seek assistance from development partners and encourage private sector’s participation in both regional and sub-regional frameworks in order to accelerate the implementation of action plans and important projects. In this regard, the meeting agreed to prioritize and select 16 projects to be submitted to development partners, particularly Japan, China, Korea and India for their support.
III. The 4th ACMECS Summit
11. The Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) is a cooperation framework between Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam established to capitalize on both economic disparities and complementarities of member countries in order to narrow the development gaps in the sub-region and contribute to building the ASEAN community.
12. The objectives of this 4th ACMECS Summit are: (1) review ACMECS cooperation and future direction, and (2) review and adopt the Declaration and the Plan of Action to expedite the implementation of ACMECS cooperation framework.
13. ACMECS cooperation includes 8 sectors namely, (1) investment and trade facilitation, (2) agricultural sector, (3) industrial and energy sector, (4) transport linkages, (5) tourism sector, (6) human resource development, (7) public health, and (8) environment, which is a new sector adopted at the 3rd ACMECS Summit held in 2008 in Hanoi. Cambodia and Vietnam are the co-chairs of the Environmental Sector Working Group.
14. The meeting adopted the ACMECS’s Plan of Action 2010-2012 as a roadmap for the implementation of cooperation among ACMECS member countries, as well as the cooperation with development partners to ensure its successful implementation by 2012.
15. The meeting also adopted the Phnom Penh Declaration on ACMECS and incorporated the Declaration on ACMECS Rice Cooperation into agricultural cooperation in order to strengthen ACMECS’s position in the areas of rice production and exports to world market.
16. In this connection, the Heads of the Governments of ACMECS member countries also met with ACMECS business leaders. The ACMECS Business Council was created as a common project under trade and investment facilitation cooperation. ACMECS Leaders encouraged active participation of the ACMECS Business Council in the implementation of ACMECS’s Plan of Action, particularly under the initiative of Governments-Private Sector Partnership, in order to ensure maximum and effective use of all the potentials of the existing business and investment opportunities in member countries.
17. The 6th CLV Summit, the 5th CLMV Summit and the 4th ACMECS Summit were held as ASEAN is also accelerating the process of building the ASEAN community by 2015. From the beginning, the establishment of these cooperation frameworks at sub-regional level is designed to achieve the main goal – promoting development and physical connectivity in the newer, less-developed ASEAN members. This will make concrete contribution to the efforts in narrowing development gaps and accelerating community building in the region. First and foremost, the objective is to build the ASEAN Community, and afterward to build the East Asia Community in the longer run.
18. In this sense, we take great pride from the fact that as through our joint efforts, the CLV, CLMV and ACMECS cooperation frameworks were incorporated into the Master Plan on ASEAN connectivity recently adopted at the 17th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi. The Master Plan is pre-requisite and necessary for building and realizing the ASEAN Community by 2015. As financing remains a fundamental challenge for countries like Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam, the preparation of projects of CLV, CLMV and ACMECS cooperation frameworks to be incorporated into the Master Plan of ASEAN Connectivity is part of our innovative and creative mechanism to engage ASEAN dialogue partners and other development partners to provide support for projects of their best interest.
19. The Heads of the Governments of all countries participating in these summits highly appreciated the capable and efficient chairmanship of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia and expressed their profound gratitude to the Royal Government and People of Cambodia for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to all delegates participating in these important Summits.