ECONOMIC COOPERATION STRATEGY
PLAN OF ACTION 2006
The Economic Cooperation Strategy Plan of Action (ECSPA) is a series of plans of action, which has a 10 year time-frame from 2003-2012 to realize the goals of the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) adopted at the 1st ACMECS Summit in Bagan in 2003. The progress of its implementation shall be reviewed every two years. To facilitate implementation, the proposed programs, projects and cooperation arrangements are divided into phases: immediate-to-short term (2003-2005), medium term (2006-2008) and long term (2009-2012).
The ACMECS Plan of Action 2006 is an updated version of the ECSPA to reflect Vietnam’s projects, the inclusion of Public Health sector and the current circumstances, priorities and needs of the ACMECS countries, to guide the ACMECS cooperation towards the year 2012.
In recognition of the need to promote economic cooperation among the ACMECS members and in response to emerging issues in the region, the ACMECS countries shall implement initiatives in the seven priority cooperation areas as follows:
1. Trade and Investment Facilitation
The ACMECS shall capitalize on the comparative advantages of the member countries to establish a prosperous and highly competitive sub-region. The objective is to facilitate the flows of goods and investments, which are crucial for job creation, income promotion and reduced socio-economic disparities.
1.1. Strengthen production and marketing potentials, expand trading activities and improve the flows of goods and services within and across markets;
1.2. Explore various payment modalities to facilitate trade transactions and encourage the increased use of ACMECS currencies for border trade transactions and explore the introduction of an account trade system;
1.3. Facilitate transit shipment of goods to provide better access to export outlets/ product distribution centers along the border areas;
1.4. Enhance trade facilitation in customs by simplifying customs procedures and strengthening customs administration;
1.5. Establish contact points to facilitate ongoing exchange of information/ ACMECS Business Council;
1.6. Enhance the competitiveness of the ACMECS sub-region for attracting sustainable levels of direct investment flows into the sub-region;
1.7. Extend, where it is appropriate under the laws, the 100 percent shareholder status in industrial sector to investors from the ACMECS countries and open up relevant industries for investments;
1.8. Enhance transparency and simplify rules, regulations and policies relating to trade and investment, including rules on, (a) licensing, (b) access to domestic finance, (c) payments and receipts and (d) repatriation of profits by investors;
1.9. Create attractive investment environment via the provision of major off-site infrastructure and regional supply systems, such as power and transportation.
2. Agricultural Cooperation
The objective is to strengthen agricultural cooperation by increasing productivity, improving market access, promoting investments and joint production, research and development and exchange of information in agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry among the ACMECS countries.
2.1. Identify potential cash crops for joint development (i.e. soy bean, corn and castor bean) among the ACMECS countries;
2.2. Increase farmers’ production efficiency by broadening institutional frameworks to enable effective cooperation in production, research and development activities;
2.3. Develop and strengthen farmers and rural communities in economic, social and environmental management to promote sustainable development through enhanced human resource development programs;
2.4. Promote close consultation and cooperation of private sector of ACMECS countries in investments in agriculture and agro-processing industries;
2.5. Enhance the competitiveness of agriculture sector through development and use of appropriate technologies to increase productivity and quality;
2.6. Integrate the production base by introducing appropriate technologies, expanding and improving supply chains of agricultural produce;
2.7. Promote information sharing, joint marketing and systematizing flows of primary goods from production areas to processing facilities and market networks;
2.8. Undertake analysis of the long-term supply and demand prospects of major food commodities (rice, corn, soybean, sugar, oilseeds, vegetable and fruit trees) in the five countries;
2.9. Provide support services in research and development;
2.10. Strengthen programs in food and agriculture technology transfer, training and extension to increase productivity and food safety;
2.11. Enhance cooperation in Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Standards (SPS).
3. Industrial and Energy Cooperation
The objective is to promote ACMECS industrial cooperation through such means as establishing or improving infrastructure facilities, industrial estates in strategic areas in particular, and to promote efficient joint utilization of member countries’ resources.
3.1. Capitalize on the existing GSP and MFN status to increase market access to industrialized countries by expanding industrial and agricultural facilities among the ACMECS countries;
3.2. Promote co-production ventures in industrial estates in strategic areas;
3.3. Establish clustered networking and strategic alliances with the private sector to promote investment opportunities in order to promote import substitution and the growth of entrepreneurial skills;
3.4. Share experiences and render assistance in developing legal framework for industrialization among the ACMECS countries;
3.5. Provide maximum encouragement to the employment of labor in the ACMECS countries in the production process;
3.6. Establish R&D and Skills Development Centers;
3.7. Develop a modern, dynamic, competitive and efficient SME sector by addressing priority areas of human resource development, information dissemination, access to technology and technology sharing, finance and marketing;
3.8. Establish national export financing/credit guarantee schemes for SMEs in strategic areas of cooperation;
3.9. Promote information networking between existing SME-related organizations in the ACMECS countries and organize regular joint training programs and seminars for SMEs;
3.10. Enhance trade and industry technical infrastructure in laboratory testing, calibration, certification and accreditation;
3.11. Promote investment in supporting infrastructures through the development of ‘economic corridors’, ‘inter-corridor linkages’ and ‘special economic zones’;
3.12. Develop agro-processing industries;
3.13. Enhance incentive investment packages among ACMECS countries, in strategic areas joint publications of investment and business information as well as databases and statistics;
3.14. Enhance the development of geological and mineral resources through the exchange of information, publication and strengthening cooperation among the ACMECS countries;
3.15. Ensure sustainable energy supply by promoting joint development of petroleum resources in the overlapping areas and establishing partnership in developing hydropower;
3.16. Institute the implementation modalities for the realization of the sub-regional power transmission networks.
4. Transport Linkages
The objective is to develop and utilize transport linkages among ACMECS countries to facilitate trade, investment, agricultural and industrial production, and tourism.
4.1. Attach first priorities (to be implemented within 2006-2008) of transport linkages to existing/ongoing transport projects, as well as projects with the highest potential of short term economic return; second priorities (to be implemented within 2009-2012) to other projects that are complimentary to the first priority projects;
4.2. Utilize existing routes and corridors in the ACMECS countries by implementing existing Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Cross-border Transport Agreements and ASEAN Framework Agreement on Goods in Transit and implementing Protocols Annexes to facilitate the movement of goods and people in transit;
4.3. Promote technical cooperation in areas related to transport linkages;
4.4. Promote possible public-private partnerships in transport infrastructure linkage development.
5. Tourism Cooperation
The objective is to promote joint strategy for tourism cooperation among the ACMECS countries in order to facilitate travels of people from outside and within the region.
5.1. Conduct joint promotion and marketing of the sub-region and convene top-level tourism marketing missions to promote the ACMECS countries;
5.2. Jointly promote existing and explore new forms of tourism development, in which the natural and cultural resources are preserved;
5.3. Cooperate to enhance tourism safety and security;
5.4. Develop and maintain a joint ACMECS tourism website/ information database (www.acmecsdestination.com);
5.5. Establish a network of tourism training centers and develop trainers and training materials for employment across the ACMECS countries;
5.6. Upgrade international border checkpoints and simplify entry formalities to promote cross border travel into and within the ACMECS countries;
5.7. Cooperate and promote air linkages among the ACMECS countries.
6. Human Resource Development
The ACMECS countries will cooperate to enhance capacity of their peoples and institutions for global competitiveness through the following activities:
6.1. Identify each country's needs and expertise to mutually promote and implement capacity building and HRD in the strategic areas of ACMECS and related sectors;
6.2. Intensify and strengthen existing institutional linkages and university networks;
6.3. Develop ACMECS integrated HRD strategy;
6.4. Promote and strengthen effective technical cooperation in HRD, R&D, infrastructure development, SME and supporting industry development, information and industrial technology development;
6.5. Encourage partnership cooperation from Development Partners in promoting HRD activities.
7. Public Health
The objective is to forge closer regional cooperation at all levels to prevent and stem the spread of infectious diseases, with the highest priority on avian influenza, through the following activities:
7.1. Build up national surveillance and laboratory capacity both on the human and animal sectors;
7.2. Facilitate information sharing on the Avian Influenza and other Emerging Infectious Disease surveillance, including through telemedicine for collaborative medical procedures and the dissemination of medical best practices;
7.3. Support and strengthen the national influenza preparedness plan and initiate an efficient joint rapid containment;
7.4. Promote other emerging disease control at cross-border;
7.5. Introduce consumer protection regarding quality of essential drugs to treat Emerging Infectious Disease;
7.6. Enhancing Human Resource Development for animal and human health sector;
7.7. Strengthen collaborative mechanism for ACMECS Public Health sector.
In order to facilitate implementation of the ACMECS Plan of Action 2006, the ACMECS countries shall carry out projects as set out in the annexes.
The ACMECS Working Group (AWG) is tasked to monitor the implementation of the projects by updating status of the projects on the ACMECS official website every 4 months. In this respect, the Coordinating Countries shall duly report the progress in their respective sectors of cooperation to the AWG which meets bi-monthly in Bangkok.
A workshop to review the ACMECS Plan of Action 2006 take place in 2008 to consider projects for the last phase of 2009-2012, after the 3rd ACMECS Summit to be held in Vietnam.
The ACMECS Plan of Action 2006 was adopted by the Leaders of ACMECS countries at the Mid- term Review Meeting held back-to-back with the 12th ASEAN Summit in 2006.