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|The Twelfth Cambodia Lao PDR – Myanmar – Vietnam (CLMV) Economic Ministers’ Meeting (EMM) agreed on an action plan for 2020|
This is a major event within the framework of the 52nd ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (AEM 52) and related conferences held on August 22-30 in Hanoi.
The ministers noted the favourable growth of the CLMV’s trade and investment in 2019. Total merchandise trade in 2019 reached $600.8 billion, up 7.6 per cent from 2018. It contributed 21.3 per cent to the ASEAN’s total merchandise trade, compared with 19.7 per cent in 2018.
Foreign direct investment flows into CLMV countries grew by 6.3 per cent, with Myanmar experiencing the highest on-year growth at 55.9 per cent. In terms of value, Vietnam received the highest amount among the four countries with $16.1 billion.
The ministers expressed concern about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic activities. Although the CLMV countries have tackled the pandemic relatively better than the other ASEAN Member States, they were not spared of the negative effects of the pandemic on socioeconomic development and people's mobility.
Speaking at the conference, Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that this is a special year as protectionism continues to increase, along with the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, leading to breakdowns and disruptions in supply chains, economic activities, trade, investment, and tourism, causing hardships for countries and enterprises.
He said that the above difficulties pose many challenges for CLMV countries in both ensuring epidemic prevention and economic recovery as well as implementing a number of projects and activities for CLMV Action Plan for 2020.
On that basis, Minister Tran Tuan Anh proposed CLMV countries to strengthen coordination in policies and measures to overcome difficulties caused by COVID- 19, continue to support activities to connect businesses in a new form, continue to support solving difficulties for businesses in import-export activities as well as problems in border trade activities.
The ministers underscored the importance of enhancing digital connectivity as well as embracing digital innovation, adoption, and skills by government agencies, MSMEs, and the public to mitigate the impact and expedite economic recovery. The ministers affirmed their commitment to enhance cooperation in mitigating the impact of the pandemic and restore business confidence in the sub-region.
Five areas, namely trade and investment cooperation; implementation of regional commitments; pandemic recovery plan; Framework for CLMV Development; and human resources development have been endorsed for the CLMV Action Plan 2021-2022.