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Prayut calls for ACMECS stronghold in Asean

Jun 23. 2015
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By THE NATION

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THAILAND has made great strides to adjust its rules and regulations to work seamlessly with the ACMECS member nations and their plan of action, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday.
The success of the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) grouping was setting the pace for the upcoming Asean Economic Community (AEC), he said. 
Prayut was speaking in the Myanmar capital of Nay Pyi Taw at the ACMECS Summit. Also attending the one-day summit were the leaders of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Prayut pushed for greater cooperation in developing the region as an Asean stronghold and increasing connectivity within the region and the rest of the world.
The Thai government had invested in transport infrastructure to link member nations and brokered agreements for cross-border cooperation and regulatory integration between various countries, he said.
“Thailand will move forward with ACMECS member nations to join the AEC and unite as a regional production base. Thailand is a signatory to the ‘Nay Pyi Taw Declaration on Realisation of the Asean Community by 2015’, and the ACMECS Plan of Action 2016-2018. The ACMECS action plan commits member countries to enhance production as a regional unit.
The Thai government had focused on the integration of government undertakings, in parallel with promoting government-private cooperation at all levels, given that the private sector was the centre of economic mobilisation.
Prayut said his government had supported transportation infrastructure to create connectivity across member countries, as well as a single production base in the grouping’s economy. “This would enhance the capability of the members to become part of the regional supply chain.”
Thailand had expanded an agreement on border-crossing facilitation for Route R9 to cover Bangkok, Hanoi, Vientiane, Laem Chabang Port and Vietnam’s Hai Phong Port, and ratified the GMS Cross Border Transport Agreement (GMS CBTA). Such developments were made to facilitate the private sector of the member countries. 
In addition, Thailand is pushing for the development of Special Economic Zones being piloted in five provinces – Tak, Sa Kaew, Trat, Mukdahan, and Songkhla. Prayut proposed that SEZ connectivity be promoted across ACMECS countries so they all could move forward together to achieve sustainability.
He urged that the ACMECS push for development of a “Tourism Corridor”, saying a route like Bagan-Chiang Mai-Luang Prabang-Vientiane-Siem Reap-Da Nang-Hue should be promoted as it combined major tourist destinations that are the pride of the grouping. 
Prayut returned to Bangkok yesterday.

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