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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

For a prosperous Mekong

(China Daily)

10:50, December 22, 2011

The new 10-year strategic framework for economic cooperation in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is a new chapter in cooperation and development for the areas along the Mekong River. It will also contribute to the healthy momentum in bilateral ties between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The document, endorsed at the Fourth GMS Summit held in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw on Tuesday, sets out eight priorities for cooperation, namely economic corridor development, infrastructure linkages, energy, telecommunications, tourism, agriculture and the environment.

Compared to 1992 when the subregional cooperation program was started by Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank, the blueprint for the next decade embodies the subregion's ambition to cooperate in a broader range of fields and its vision for meeting the challenges ahead.

The past two decades have witnessed "golden development" in the subregion. By the end of 2010, the GMS member states had launched 227 cooperative projects in nine areas including transport, energy, telecommunications, environment and agriculture with a total investment of $14 billion.

These initiatives have brought real benefits to the people in the area and contributed significantly to local economic growth and poverty reduction, paving the way for a prosperous, integrated and harmonious subregion.

Such initiatives are the result of reciprocal cooperation based on mutual respect and equality. Today, the GMS countries are not only better connected via land, sea and air, but also more committed to regional development and prosperity.

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