ACMECS

The Ayeyawady – Chao Phraya – Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy or ACMECS, was established in 2003 as a platform to stimulate the economic cooperation and development of the sub-region revolving around the three major rivers – the Ayeyawady in Myanmar, the Chao Phraya in Thailand, and the Mekong which runs through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Viet Nam.

Thailand

Laos

Viet Nam

Myanmar

Cambodia

Mekong river

Development Partners

ACMECS Development partner Australia Flag

Australia

ACMECS Development partner China Flag

China

ACMECS Development partner India Flag

India

ACMECS Development partner Japan Flag

Japan

ACMECS Development partner Korea Flag

Korea

ACMECS Development partner USA Flag

USA

The Establishment of ACMECS

The initiative to establish ACMECS, which was then called the Economic Cooperation Strategy, has been raised at the special ASEAN Summit on SARS, held in Bangkok on 29 April 2003, with leaders of Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar, and Thailand.

12 November 2003

1st ACMECS SUMMIT “Bagan Declaration”

10 May 2004

Viet Nam Joins ACMECS

29 April 2003

Special Summit on SARS

On 12 November 2003 in Bagan, Myanmar, The leaders of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand met for the first time at the historic Bagan Summit and adopted the Bagan Declaration, affirming their commitment to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavours in the spirit of equality and partnership. They also agreed to call this cooperation agreement “Ayeyawady – Chao Phraya – Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy” or ACMECS. Soon later, on 10 May 2004, Vietnam has joined the group resulting in having five member countries in ACMECS.

Areas of Cooperation

The Bagan Declaration lays foundations for ACMECS and set its principles and objectives which are:

Increasing Competitiveness and Growth

The goal is to boost competitiveness and generate greater growth along the border.

Facilitating Industry Relocation

The plan is to facilitate the relocation of agricultural and manufacturing industries to areas with comparative advantage.

Creating Employment Opportunities

The objective is to create employment opportunities and reduce income disparity among member countries.

Enhancing Peace and Prosperity

The aim is to enhance peace, stability, and shared prosperity for all in a sustainable manner.

In addition, at the Bagan Summit, ACMECS member countries are also agreed to cooperate in five priority areas, which are Trade and Investment Facilitation, Agricultural and Industrial Cooperation, Transport lingkages, Tourism Cooperation and Human Resources Development. Accordingly, they identified 42 common projects and 224 bilateral projects in its Plan of Action. Several of these projects were under implementation at the time and have been receiving support from within ACMECS in the form of loans, grants and technical assistance. The rest of the projects also include those that have potential but have yet to be implemented. Such projects would benefit from the expertise and resources of development partners. In the Second and Third ACMECS Summit, the country members have endorsed Public Health and Social Welfare Development and Environmental Cooperation as new sectors of cooperation, respectively.

On 16 June 2018, at the eighth ACMECS Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, the ACMECS member countries have adopted the ACMECS Master Plan 2019-2023 in which ACMECS Cooperation to be carried through three goals/pillars, namely, (1) Seamless ACMECS to promote seamless connectivity from multi-modal Transports links; (2) Synchronized ACMECS to promote software connectivity, which are Treade Investment and Industrial cooperation, and Finiancial cooperation; and (3) Smart and Sustainable ACMECS to promote the development of human captial in strategic areas.