Prime Minister proposes to open green corridors at border gates of the Greater Mekong Sub-region

Prime Minister proposes to open green corridors at border gates of the Greater Mekong Sub-region

Prime Minister proposes to open “green corridors” at border gates of the Greater Mekong Sub-region

To ensure that the regional supply chain is not disrupted, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh proposed to leaders of the Greater Mekong Subregion to facilitate the movement of people and goods across the border to ensure disease prevention. restrict the application of trade barriers.

At the invitation of Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, on the morning of September 9, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh attended and delivered an important speech at the Greater Mekong Sub-region Cooperation Summit (March 9). GMS) for the 7th time was held online.

Attending the Conference were the Prime Ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, China and Vietnam; representing Myanmar, the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and nearly 350 delegates representing ministries, sectors of six countries, development partners and business sectors inside and outside the region.

The Vietnamese delegation accompanied the Prime Minister to attend the conference with leaders of the ministries: Foreign Affairs, Planning and Investment, Industry and Trade, Transport, Natural Resources and Environment, Government Office.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh leads the Vietnamese delegation to attend the conference (Photo: Nhat Bac)

Remarkable results in implementing the Hanoi Action Plan

With the theme “GMS: Strengthening to face the challenges of the new decade”, the Conference reviewed the situation of cooperation since the GMS Summit 6 (March 2018) and discussed directions. cooperation in the new decade as well as solutions to overcome the current particularly difficult period.

The conference highly appreciated the important achievements that GMS cooperation has achieved over the past three decades on the basis of implementing the 3C strategy “Connectivity, Competition and Community” (Connectivity, Competitiveness, Community). Up to now, the scale of cooperation has reached 28 billion USD with hundreds of investment projects and technical assistance in many fields, including construction and upgrading of nearly 12,000 km of roads, 700 km of railways, and nearly 3,000 km of railways. power transmission lines. GMS is also a leading cooperation mechanism to promote the construction of East-West and North-South inter-national economic corridors.

In the past three years, despite being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, GMS cooperation still achieved remarkable results in the implementation of the Hanoi Action Plan 2018-2022, notably the completion of 11 projects. traffic project with a total investment capital of 2 billion USD.

Vision 2030 for an integrated, prosperous and sustainable and inclusive GMS region

Regarding the direction of cooperation in the new period, the Conference approved the “GMS Covid-19 pandemic response and recovery plan for the period 2021-2023” and the “GMS 2030 Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework”. Accordingly, the Leaders have set out a vision of 2030 for an integrated, prosperous and sustainable GMS region with sustainable and inclusive development.

To realize the vision, the Conference agreed to: (i) Take advantage of the digital revolution to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of the economy; (ii) Improve spatial approach to development with the construction of a network of economic corridors, linking border areas, large cities and rural areas; (iii) Promote energy connectivity, aiming to form a competitive regional energy market; (iv) Strengthen dialogue on policy and regulation, with emphasis on knowledge-based solutions and capacity building; (v) Leveraging the potential and capacity of the private sector; (vi) Efforts to ensure gender equality in the development process; and (vii) Developing the GMS as an open cooperation mechanism that coordinates and complements other regional mechanisms.

In the period up to 2023, in order to support countries in pandemic response and economic recovery, GMS will: (i) Promote cooperation on vaccines to ensure that countries have access to safe and affordable Covid-19 vaccines. affordable, fair, and efficient; (ii) Implement synchronously measures to ensure human and animal health; healthy crops, food and urban environments; (iii) Stabilize regional and global supply chains to ensure the flow of essential goods and services; facilitate the safe and orderly movement of workers; (iv) Promote cooperation among countries in transport, investment, trade, tourism and agriculture while ensuring safety against epidemics.

The Leaders also affirmed their commitment to fully implement the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; strengthen cooperation in the sustainable use and holistic management of natural resources, especially water resources, through cross-border cooperation and joint efforts to ensure food security, water resources and energy in the GMS area.

The Prime Minister said that the current difficult period is an opportunity for GMS member countries to unite, promote cooperation and development. (Photo: Nhat Bac)

Proposing 6 priorities for GMS cooperation in the coming period

Speaking at the conference, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh emphasized the strategic role of the Greater Mekong Sub-region in the process of international integration and Asia’s strong economic growth. The Prime Minister highly appreciated the achievements of GMS cooperation, affirming that the achievements of GMS cooperation have effectively supported the process of building the ASEAN Community, shaping the regional structure with ASEAN as the center. and promote the ASEAN-China strategic partnership to grow and deepen.

The Prime Minister said that the current difficult period is also an opportunity for GMS member countries to show their efforts and determination, unite together, and promote cooperation and development. The more difficult it is, the more GMS countries need to unite, stick together, agree more, and support each other more to overcome challenges; together create the bravery, prestige, brand and value, sustainable identity of GMS.

The Prime Minister thanked ADB and development partners for their valuable support, effective coordination and resource mobilization for cooperation programs within the GMS framework and with member countries, including Vietnam. The Prime Minister also thanked countries that can produce vaccines, including China, for sharing and helping other countries and Vietnam. This help is very valuable in the current global shortage of vaccines.

The Prime Minister affirmed that the GMS countries are close neighbors of mountains and rivers, sharing the same legendary Mekong River; have a long cultural tradition and history; have close relations and warm feelings, cohesion between ethnic brothers; It is in the interests and responsibility of each GMS country to work together to address common regional challenges and support each other for mutual development. Political trust and cooperation on the basis of the principles of equality, consensus, mutual benefit, efficiency, practicality and respect for international law will continue to be indispensable conditions for the success of the GMS. .

With the view that GMS needs a vision and strategic solutions to both solve current urgent problems and lay the foundation for a fast, sustainable and inclusive development in the next decade, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh suggested that GMS cooperation in the coming period should prioritize 6 main contents, including:

The first, prevent, repel and control the Covid-19 epidemic. The Prime Minister emphasized, before the epidemic spreading globally, no people are safe when there are still other people infected with Covid-19; No country is safe while other countries in the region and the world still have to fight the Covid-19 epidemic. Therefore, at this time, we need to prioritize close and effective cooperation to prevent, repel and control the Covid-19 epidemic; and at the same time develop a coordination mechanism to respond to infectious diseases in the future. The focus is on supporting open, equal and transparent access to vaccines and pharmaceuticals to treat Covid-19; strengthen vaccine sharing through multilateral and bilateral mechanisms; promote technology transfer to build and self-manufacture vaccines and drugs to treat diseases in the region. Vietnam asked countries that can produce vaccines, including China, to continue supporting other countries, including Vietnam.

Second, ensure that the regional supply chain is not disrupted in the context of the epidemic through harmonizing and simplifying customs clearance processes and procedures; opening “green corridors” at border gates to both facilitate the movement of people and goods across the border, while also ensuring requirements for epidemic prevention and control; restrict the application of trade barriers.

Tuesday, create breakthroughs in building a synchronous infrastructure system, especially transport and energy to improve the connectivity and competitiveness of economies. The objective is to complete the transport network, GMS border gates and seaports; promote multimodal transport; transition to low-emission energy in a harmonious and reasonable manner; improve the capacity of cross-border electricity trading, operate the linked grid system, and develop the infrastructure of the electricity sector.

Wednesday, accelerate digital transformation, contributing to creating new driving force for growth, economic recovery and narrowing the development gap on the basis of digital infrastructure development; strengthening e-commerce and digital commerce; promote the role of digital technology to accelerate the post-pandemic recovery, especially in the field of trade in services; improve digital skills and qualifications for businesses and employees; and develop an appropriate legal framework.

Thursday, building a green, safe and effective GMS adaptive to climate change. GMS needs to become a model of regional cooperation on green, safe and sustainable growth, focusing on improving capacity to respond to climate change, reducing disaster risks and enhancing cooperation in management and exploitation. exploitation and sustainable use of rivers in the region, especially the Mekong River.

Friday, strengthen coordination between GMS and ASEAN and other regional mechanisms; encourage the participation of development partners and the business community. The Prime Minister proposed organizing the annual GMS development high-level forum with the participation of GMS members and development partners to evaluate and review the GMS cooperation progress as well as expand and attract more resources, advice from GMS’s development partners.

The Prime Minister affirmed Vietnam’s commitment to continue making effective contributions to the implementation of the GMS’ common goals and vision and to work with neighboring countries to build an increasingly open, safe and peaceful GMS region. prosperity and sustainable development.

The Prime Minister’s speech was welcomed and appreciated by the Conference. Senior leaders from other countries are interested in, share and agree to support Vietnam’s views and initiatives, especially important orientations and specific proposals to build a safe and harmonious GMS region. peace, prosperity and sustainable and inclusive development.

At the end of the Conference, the Leaders adopted a Joint Statement of the Conference and agreed to hold the 8 GMS Summit in China in 2024.