Mekong Monitor

Photo credit: Khmer Times





CLV Development Triangle Area committee discusses ways to boost economic cooperation
(11 March 2019) The 12th Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle Area Joint Coordination Committee (CLV DTA JCC) meeting held on March 7-10 in Cambodia’s Kratie province concluded with the parties involved reportedly making significant headway in the development of the CLV DTA Economic Connectivity Action Plan 2030, according to Cambodian commerce minister Sok Sopheak. The minister added that Cambodia’s priority moving forward will be to ensure the effective implementation of trade activities in the CLV DTA in accordance with existing agreements, such as by allowing more provincial authorities to delegate the issuance of forms needed to obtain certificates of origin. Further, all three parties agreed to review the master plan for socio-economic development in the CLV DTA and elevate cooperation in tourism sector development. Established in 1999, the CLV DTA included Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, and Dak Nong provinces in Vietnam, Sekong, Attapeu and Saravan provinces in Laos, and Stung Treng, Ratanakkiri, and Mondulkiri provinces in Cambodia. In 2009, the three countries agreed to add Vietnam’s Binh Phuoc province, Laos’ Champasak province, and Cambodia’s Kratie province to the CLV DTA. In 2018, Vietnam invested a combined US$983 million in 39 projects in Kratie province, mostly in agriculture and agro-industry.
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Vietnam and Myanmar agree to elevate bilateral cooperation
(12 March 2019) The 9th Vietnam-Myanmar Joint Committee for Bilateral Cooperation Meeting held on March 12 in Hanoi concluded with both sides agreeing to continue building on their bilateral relationship. Both sides noted the uptrend in economic cooperation between the countries, including a 5.5% growth y-o-y in bilateral trade reaching US$873.9 million in 2018. Speaking at the meeting, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh asked Myanmar to consider shortening the time needed for Vietnamese firms to gain permission to invest in the country as well as the list of goods that require permits to enter Myanmar. Meanwhile, Myanmar’s international cooperation minister U Kyaw Tin stated the country’s support for Vietnam’s 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship.
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Myanmar, Thailand border trade reaches US$1.4 billion in the first half of FY2018-19
(9 March 2019) Border trade between Myanmar and Thailand reached approximately US$1.4 billion in the first half of the 2018-2019 fiscal year beginning October 2018, according to statistics from Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce. Of the sum, Myanmar’s exports to Thailand were valued at US$985.8 million while its imports from the same was valued at US$412.9 million. Further, Hteekhee border gate recorded the highest trade activity during the period reaching US$791.6 million. Myanmar exports agricultural and fishery products to Thailand and imports cosmetics, food products, machinery and raw industrial goods such as cement and fertilizers.
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Laos, Thailand target US$12 billion in trade by 2021
(11 March 2019) Laos and Thailand are committed to increasing annual trade between the countries by 10-15% in order to reach US$12 billion by 2021, according to Lao deputy minister of industry and commerce Phanthong Phitthoumma. To this end, both governments will intensify trade and investment promotion activities over the next five years, such as through the organisation of trade fairs. Meanwhile, a representative of the Thai embassy in Laos said that such activities would also help elevate Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith ‘three opens’ policy to promote economic integration — open doors, open barriers and open minds.
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Thai EXIM Bank zeroes in on CLMV market
(12 March 2019) The Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM Bank Thailand) opened a third overseas representative office in Cambodia as part of its CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam) expansion plan. At the opening of the new office, the bank announced a loan facility for companies in the subregion looking to import goods from Thai businesses. According to bank president Pisit Serewiwattan, credit will be provided for up to 85% of the purchase value or US$4 million, for a period of five years. CLMV countries are a key export market for Thailand, accounting for 11.5% of the country’s total goods exports in January 2019.
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About Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Programme was launched by the Asian Development Bank in 1992 connecting five developing ASEAN countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, and Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region. The region has some of the most robust economies sharing the Mekong River Basin thanks to its reform and liberalisation. The subregion is growing at a faster pace than the whole of East Asia and the Asia Pacific as the GDP growth rate for 2017 was at 6.4 percent, according to the World Bank. The population at the subregion as of 2016 is at 340 million while the GDP at PPP is at US$3.1 trillion in 2016. In 2015, trading within the region was at US$444 billion.