1. The 4th Mekong-Japan Economic Ministers Meeting was held in Siem-Reap, Cambodia on 30th August 2012. The meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Tin Naing Thein, Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, Myanmar, and H.E. Yukio Edano, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan and attended by Economic Ministers and representatives from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam, as well as Secretary-General of ASEAN.
2. The Ministers welcomed the steady progress in the implementation of the “Mekong-Japan Economic and Industrial Cooperation Initiative (MJ-CI) Action Plan”, as part of the development of Economic Corridors in the Mekong sub-region, which includes completion of the 3rd Mekong Bridge at Thailand and Lao PDR border, commencement of the bilateral Exchange of Traffic Rights between Cambodia and Thailand under the Cross-Border Transport Agreement (CBTA).
3. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) reported to the Ministers the major findings of “Mekong Business Needs Survey 2012” which covered current business needs and strategies of Japanese and local companies in Mekong countries. The Ministers appreciated the significant results of the survey, such as capturing the production network expansion in the Mekong region especially to the CLM countries. The Ministers also reaffirmed the necessity to effectively utilize the resources for the prioritized projects, such as Neak Loeung bridge and Cai Mep-Thi Vai international port construction, as well as various projects to contribute to the stable energy supply in this sub-region, by appropriately reflecting the business needs, and the changing business environment, such as the on-going domestic reforms in Myanmar.
4. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed inputs from the 5thMekong-Japan Industry and Government Dialogue, and adopted the “Mekong Development Roadmap under the MJ-CI Action Plan”. The Roadmap consists of three pillars (hard infrastructure development, trade facilitation and industrial cooperation) with clear timetable until 2015. Ministers also agreed to regularly review the progress in the implementation of the Roadmap, as well as to report major progress to the Mekong-Japan Summit.
5. Ministers also agreed to additionally incorporate several projects into the MJ-CI Action Plan such as organizing seminars and workshops for Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) utilization, improving power grid interconnection in the Mekong Region, developing power plants in CLM countries, developing Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ), and establishing industrial development strategies for Mekong Countries.
6. With regard to the Dawei development project, as indicated in the ‘Mekong-Japan Action Plan for realization of the “Tokyo Strategy 2012.”‘, the Ministers suggested the AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee’s Working Group on West-East Corridor Development (AMEICC WEC-WG) to establish a trilateral framework among Myanmar, Thailand and Japan, in order to coordinate and review the development process to accelerate the project.
7. The Ministers underscored that development of hard infrastructure and trade facilitation, which should be implemented effectively in close cooperation with other relevant initiatives in ASEAN and East Asia, such as the Asian Development Bank – Greater Mekong Sub-region (ADB-GMS) programs, the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, the Comprehensive Asian Development Plan and the Asia Cargo Highway Initiative. The Ministers also reaffirmed the necessity to further cooperate with other sub-regional cooperation framework, such as CLMV Economic Cooperation and CLV Triangle Development Cooperation.
8. The Ministers also tasked the AMEICC WEC-WG to coordinate and follow up on the implementation process of the Roadmap and additional projects of the MJ-CI Action Plan, in close coordination with businesses/industries, government agencies and international organizations.
List of Ministers
1. H.E. Dr. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia
2. H.E. Yukio Edano, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan
3. H.E. Dr. Nam Viyaketh, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR
4. H.E. Tin Naing Thein, Minister of National Planning and Economic Development, Myanmar
5. Mr. Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Secretary General, National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), Thailand (representing H.E. Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan, Minister Attached to Prime Minister’s Office, Thailand)
6. H.E. Nguyen Cam Tu, Vice Minister of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam
7. H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN