(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:
- 1st ACMECS Summit in 2003, Myanmar
- 2nd ACMECS Summit in 2005, Thailand
- 3rd ACMECS Summit in 2008, Vietnam
- 4th ACMECS Summit in 2010, Cambodia
- 5th ACMECS Summit in 2013, Lao PDR
- 6th ACMECS Summit in 2015, Myanmar
- 7th ACMECS Summit in 2016, Vietnam
- 8th ACMECS Summit in 2018, Thailand
- 9th ACMECS Summit in 2020, Cambodia
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:
- Trade and Investment Facilitation
- Public Health and Social Welfare Development
- Human Resource Development
- Industrial and Energy Cooperation
- Tourism Cooperation
- Transport Linkage
- Agricultural Cooperation
Projects under the ACMECS were adopted on the following bases:
- Compatibility and reinforcement to the existing bilateral and regional cooperation;
- Practicality with concrete results based on comparative advantages;
- Realizable and agreeable;
- Voluntarily and equally shared benefits, and
- Consensus decision-making.