(Photo: The ASEAN Post)

The Ayeyawady – Chao Phraya – Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) is a cooperation framework among Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam to utilize member countries’ diverse strengths and to promote balanced development in the sub-region. It was established in 2003 (Vietnam joined the group in 2004 through the 2004 Protocol to the Bagan Declaration on the Admission of VN to ACMECS). The objectives of this new initiative are to bridge the economic gap among the four countries, and to promote prosperity in the sub-region in a sustainable manner.

The ACMECS Summits and Related Documents:


In principle, the ACMECS Cooperation has structure as follows:

  • The Working Groups of the ACMECS might have meeting for every three months.
  • The Senior Officers Meetings (SOM) might  take place every six months.
  • The Ministerial Meeting might take place once a year.
  • While a Summit, which is the highest level of meeting between the ACMECS’ leaders, is scheduled every two years.

There are 8 Working Groups under ACMECS:

  1. Trade and Investment Facilitation
  2. Public Health and Social Welfare Development
  3. Human Resource Development
  4. Industrial and Energy Cooperation
  5. Tourism Cooperation
  6. Transport Linkage
  7. Agricultural Cooperation
  8. Environment

Projects under the ACMECS were adopted on the following bases:

  1. Compatibility and reinforcement to the existing bilateral and regional cooperation;
  2. Practicality with concrete results based on comparative advantages;
  3. Realizable and agreeable;
  4. Voluntarily and equally shared benefits, and
  5. Consensus decision-making.