President U Thein Sein delivered a speech at the 5th Greater Mekong Subregion Summit in Bangkok on Saturday, saying Myanmar’s reform process has gained momentum since the last such summit was held and it is working closely with other GMS member countries and the global community to achieve further progress.
The president ‘s speech followed his arrival in the Thai capital on Friday evening and his participation in a gala dinner hosted by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha for the leaders of the five-nation GMS as well as Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao.
The summit, held at the Shangri-La Hotel under the theme “Committed to Inclusive and Sustainable Development in the GMS,” was attended by President U Thein Sein of Myanmar, as well as prime ministers of Thailand, Cambodia, China and Vietnam along with the ADB president, and a joint statement of the 5th GMS Summit was issued.
In his speech at Saturday’s plenary meeting, U Thein Sein recounted the fourth GMS hosted by Myanmar in 2011 at which the GMS Strategic Plan was approved.
The GMS economic cooperation programme covers such areas as infrastructural linkages, energy, telecommunications, transport and trade facilitation, development of regional economic corridors, agriculture, tourism, human resource development and environmental conservation. U Thein Sein thanked the ADB for its support in these areas.
He said the southern economic corridor of Mekong subregion will become the shortest trading route between Pacific and Indian oceans, while the East-West economic corridor will be crucial for the member countries. The two corridors will pass through Phaya Thonezu at Myanmar-Thai border before linking up with a 170-mile long road between Mawlamyine and Dawei in southern Myanmar. It will surely countribute to regional development.
The meeting’s participants also heard an explanation of implementation plan of future Regional Investment Framework, which is expected to expedite US$51.5 billion covering 10 development areas, ranging from energy and agriculture to environment, human resources development, urban development, tourism, and transport and trade facilitation, among others.
At the sidelines of the summit attended by President U Thein Sein, prime ministers of Thailand, Cambodia, China, Laos, Vietnam, the leader of Thailand suggested some plans to be carried in the region, including establishment of special border economic zones along the economic corridors, the development of infrastructures for trading routes, facilitation of cross-border trade, investment and environmental conservation efforts.
U Win Aung, president of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, explained a statement of GMS
Economic Forum and handed over the chairmanship of that group to Cambodia.