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CLMVT region to become ‘value chain hub’  of Asia and the world, PM tells forum 

Jun 24. 2019
Prayut Chan-o-cha at the CLVMT forum
Prayut Chan-o-cha at the CLVMT forum
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By The Nation

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Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Monday that the Thai government firmly believed that mainland Southeast Asia had the potential to grow into a new economic centre of both Asia and the world, and that the region would become a “value chain hub”.

Prayut made the remarks in a speech delivered in Bangkok at a seminar titled “CLMVT as the New Value Chain Hub of Asia”. 

CLMVT is the acronym for the five mainland Southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand.

“Government sectors will play a role as a facilitator and founder, while CLMVT’s private sectors will be capable of expanding their business and invent new technologies, and then apply them for commerce. The private sectors will encourage development in the CLMVT region,” he said.

However, CLMVT faces challenges in many aspects, such as the rapid development of new technologies and the change of the world’s geopolitics, the PM told the forum, adding that these factors would play an important role in setting out the ability to operate businesses in all countries in the world. 

Also, the fourth industrial revolution will transform the ways of living and doing business in all economic sectors, including the industrial sector, agricultural industry, and services, he added.

New technologies bring new opportunities for business sectors, making many companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, become a part of the worldwide production network. 

Nevertheless, CLMVT has to experience uncertainty and the fluctuations of doing business, causing its five constituent countries to acclimate and cooperate together, the premier said, adding that service sectors of CLMVT are also affected by new technologies.

Prayut also urged the five nations’ private sectors to prepare plans for risk assessment, in order to minimise the negative effects on business sectors from the global market, which always fluctuates.

“CLMVT must develop the level of the value chain in Asia before we can continually be a manufacturer in the production sectors of the world, including agricultural sectors and industrial sectors, especially in the fields of agriculture, textiles, automobiles and electronics,” he stressed.

‘Stronger together’

Prayut also emphasised that the Thai government firmly held to the principle of “stronger together”, which in this context meant that all CLMVT members should be involved and none of them should be left behind.

“The forum this year is being held in order to stimulate this principle, because the states in CLMVT have got along well with each other for a long time. We respect the varieties and assist each other fairly. We should take the highest advantage from this meeting to build the future of CLMVT and develop all sectors in the CLMVT region together,” he said.

The minsters for economy, trade and industry of Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, the high commissioner of Vietnam, ambassadors, executives from the government and private sectors, representatives from academic sectors and chambers of commerce from CLMVT member states attended the forum. 

Representative of foreign chambers of commerce such as those from the US, China, Japan, India and South Korea also joined the meeting.

Economic connectivity

CLMVT is outstanding as a centre of trade and investment in agriculture, industry and services, as it consists of fertile natural resources, basic needs, and adequate human resources. 

These lead CLMVT to have firm economic connectivity in the Asian and Asean networks, and to become part of an unbreakable value chain of the world, the seminar was told.

The trade, investment and development abilities of CLMVT have grown dramatically in recent years. 

CLMVT is also a source of production and a significant market that continues to expand rapidly. 

In 2017, the combined gross domestic product of CLMVT increased sharply by 5.1 per cent.

During 2013 to 2017, each country of CLMVT grew its business with countries outside the region, leading to an average GDP expansion rate of 4.6 per cent per year.

Meanwhile, trade and investment among CLMVT states expanded 7.1 per cent and 15.7 per cent per year respectively during the period, showing how firmly these economic connectivities are, and also the connectivity of the value chain of areas that are linked to each other increasingly and expeditiously, the forum heard.

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