Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung,
Excellencies, Heads of the CLMV Governments
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am so pleased to see you again at this important Summit!
First of all, I would like to express my heart-felt thanks to the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for the excellent arrangements for the fourth CLMV Summit and the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation. I am pleased to come back again to the beautiful and historical capital Hanoi.
This Fourth Summit is of great significance to our respective countries to reaffirm our determination to deepen the traditional relations of friendship, good neighborliness and mutual benefits among the CLMV countries, and implement the goals set in the Vientiane Declaration in 2004.
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 reason to strengthen the four countries and deepen integration with the other six ASEAN members in order to reduce development gap within the Mekong Sub-Region. 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 and reducing 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 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, economic integration policy coordination, trade and investment facilitation and promotion, agriculture, industry and energy, transport, ICT, tourism, HRD and health care. I believe it was a great success for all of us that we successfully adopted the revised CLMV Plan of Action at the third CLMV Summit in Cebu, the Philippines. We were able to ensure that there was no duplication of action plans, but it enhances synergy for other frameworks, especially the ACMECS cooperation.
Today I am so pleased that our respective countries successfully translated the revised action plan into concrete projects by identifying the essential need for source of financing and specific timeframe for implementation, both short and medium term. Cambodia has identified 20 projects: 6 projects in agriculture, 4 projects in industry and energy, 5 projects in Tourism, and 5 projects in transport, to promote CLMV cooperation.
As financing remains a fundamental challenge for all of us, I still believe that through our Summit today CLMV countries may find ways and means to come up with innovative and creative mechanism to engage ASEAN Dialogue Partners and other development partners to participate in projects of their best interest. The pledge of USD 20 million from Japan for the Mekong projects, in which the CLMV countries would benefit the most, provides a good start for our cooperation to yield concrete and fruitful outcome.
Finally, I can say that we have confidently taken a major step forward in enhancing our CLMV cooperation to serve interests of our countries and peoples. The next priority is to push our activities forward toward actual implementation, practical performance and results as soon as possible. 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. I believe that this effort will allow us to achieve as soon as possible the concept of four countries-one economy.