PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc: Connecting economies in Mekong region should be prioritised

In his opening address at the World Economic Forum on the Mekong (WEF-Mekong) in Hanoi on Tuesday, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the formation of the ASEAN Community in late 2015 and the development of transport corridors in the sub-regions plus regional economic links are opening opportunities for businesses and investors. However, he pointed out challenges such as the wide development gap between ASEAN members, the fading advantage of low labour costs, and rapid climate change. Mr. Phuc said Vietnam hoped that Mekong countries would hold talks with businesses at the World Economic Forum on public-private partnership and business growth for the shared benefits: "Connecting economies is a priority task. Mekong countries and their partners need to accelerate transport links via sub-regional East-West and North-South economic corridors, and the southern economic corridor. Vietnam has adopted incentives for investors to develop production infrastructure and chains".

Prime Minister Phuc said trade, investment, and tourism cooperation is an important for momentum in the region, where the Mekong and ASEAN countries are working to realise the goal of a unified market by 2025. Mr. Phuc added that the Mekong countries need to improve their competitiveness, while Vietnam is reforming its growth model towards sustainable development: "The impacts of climate change and unsustainable exploration activities of Mekong water source are posing big challenges to the environment, food security, and sustainable development of the Mekong region, including the Mekong delta which exports up to 8 million tons of rice a year. So, priority should be given to improving the uneven distribution of the fruits of growth and integration, narrowing the development gap, and realizing sustainable development goals by 2030. Everybody is entitled to enjoy the development fruits and nobody should be left behind".

The Prime Minister told investors about the Vietnamese market with its high GDP growth rate and stable investment environment with more than 21,000 FDI projects worth 300 billion USD.

Source: VOV5