Cambodia will host the 7th Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Leaders’ Summit tomorrow via videoconference under the theme “GMS: Renewed Strength to Face the Challenges of the New Decade”, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen will chair the summit that leaders of GMS members are attending which include Chinese premier Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of Laos Phankham Viphavanh, Chairman of the State Administration Council of Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Prime Minister of Thailand Gen Prayuth Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Minh Chinh and president of the Asian Development Bank Masatsugu Asakawa.
Mr Hun Sen will be physically accompanied by Land Management Minister Chea Sophara, Public Works Minister Sun Chanthol, chairman of the National AIDS Authority Ieng Mouly and secretary-general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia Sok Chenda Sophea.
The summit will review the progress of the cooperation since the 6th Summit held on March 31 2018 in Vietnam and chart the future activities and direction of the cooperation for the next three years with the support from ADB.
The meeting will also serve as an opportunity for participants to reflect their commitments and contributions to a more integrated, prosperous, sustainable and inclusive subregion by addressing challenges for economic growth and social development in the subregion, region and beyond.
The GMS programme is based on consultation and dialogue among GMS members. It focuses on high-priority subregional projects in the fields of transport, energy, telecommunication, environment, human resource development, tourism, trade, private sector investment and agriculture.
Kin Phea, director-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, told Khmer Times recently that this is an important summit as the region is facing some challenges.
Phea said that the leaders of GMS nations, including Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam will use this summit to find solutions to settle the Covid-19 pandemic and its impacts in the region.
This is an important summit and will be held as the region is suffering with the Covid-19 outbreak, therefore all nations should work together for joint solutions to prevent outbreaks and rehabilitate economic construction and development post-Covid-19, he said.
The GMS Leaders’ Summit is generally held every three years. It is the highest forum in the Greater Mekong Subregion programme and culminates in a joint statement signed by the heads of government of member countries.
The summit is an opportunity to examine how global trends are affecting the subregion, the progress that has been made in cooperation and integration, and the best strategy for moving forward in the years ahead.
The first GMS Leaders Summit took place on November 3, 2002 in Phnom Penh, while the 6th was held in Hanoi on March 31, 2018.
The GMS is comprised of six nations that share the Mekong River, including Cambodia, China (specifically Yunnan province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.