The Hanoitimes - The economic ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) met for the first time in Vietnam’s coastal city of Da Nang on Aug. 28 to seek ways to boost their countries’ economic and trade ties.
They also sought to work more closely in sub-regional, regional and global forums, maximize their countries’ potential, narrow the development gaps among the four and with other countries in the region and around the world, and push up the implementation of the agreements reached at previous CMLV summits.
The ministers acknowledged that the four countries have attained considerable developments in economic and trade ties in recent years and there are still high potentials for making these gains bigger by promoting the development of border markets and cross-border trade.
On trade, they agreed to focus on facilitating trade exchange, enhancing trade promotion activities, and boosting investment flows among the four countries in line with the joint declaration of the fourth CLMV Summit in Hanoi on November 6, 2008.
The ministers agreed to encourage investment into special economic zones (SEZs) and export processing zones (EPZs) lying along their borders with preferential treatments in infrastructure and administrative procedures targeting CLMV investors.
Debating human resource development, they underscored the important role of programmes to provide vocational training and enhance the capacity of public administrative officials.
They shared the view that their countries need to boost their policy coordination at sub-regional, regional and international cooperation forums to attract resources from developed partners for narrowing the development gaps between the CLMV and other ASEAN member countries.
The ministers proposed reinforcing their cooperation in making and implementing projects within the framework of the second IAI Working Plan, cooperating closely in tailoring prioritised projects within the sub-regional cooperation frameworks, and stepping up cooperation with regional and international organisations and dialogue countries.
The ministers also discussed the conduct of research and assessments to figure out challenges and shared potentials as well as measures to boost trade and investment among their countries, and the further enhancement of cooperation in FTA negotiations and other negotiations for benefits of each country and the entire group as a whole.
They agreed to continue to study the establishment of a CLMV Development Fund as suggested by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, which aims at gaining financial assistance from other countries for shortening their development gaps.
The ministers decided that their meeting will convene twice a year along with the ASEAN Economic Ministerial Meeting and that their countries will rotate in playing the coordinating role.
They highly valued the ASEAN Secretariat’s assistance in preparing and organising their first-ever meeting and expressed hopes to see the attendance of the ASEAN Secretary General or Deputy Secretary General in their future meetings.