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黎弘代表在湄公学院“澜沧江—湄公河国际航运发展潜能项目研讨会”开班仪式上的致辞
2016/07/12
 

  Opening Remarks by Mr. LI Hong

  Permanent Representative of China to UNESCAP at the Dissemination Workshop on Development Potential of the International Shipping on the Lancang-Mekong River

  2016.7.12, Kunming

  

        Distinguished Mr.Wang Yunshan, the Party Secretary of Transport Department of Yunnan Province,

  Distinguished Mr.Yang Jingyuan, the Principal of Yunnan Traffic Technician College,

  Distinguished Dr. Watcharas Leelawath, Executive Director of Mekong Institute,

  Ladies and gentlemen,

  It gives me pleasure to attend the workshop today in Kunming, the city of spring, well known for its pleasant climate and dynamism. I would like to first thank the Mekong Institution (MI) and Department of Transport of Yunan Province of China for organizing such an event and give me the opportunity to visit Kunming again after 3 years since my first visit to this magic city. Thank the co-hosts for the thoughtful arrangement and hospitality.

  Yunnan province is located at the upstream of Lancang-Mekong river. It is the gateway for China’s opening-up to the South and south-east Asia and it is the important hub for transport corridors connecting China with neighboring countries in the GMS sub-region. It is also culturally in similarity with the riverine countries. Yunnan’s geographic advantage and rich culture make it be a unique sub-regional center for economic integration and cultural communication. Today’s workshop reassured the commitment and contribution of Yunnan to the sub-regional cooperation.

  Dear Colleagues,

  Mekong River countries share the same mountains and rivers, which makes us natural partners and close neighbors. With our interests closely interwined, the political trust and sound cooperation are experiencing fast track development. We all face common tasks of developing the economy and improving people’s living standards while, at the same time, face common challenges such as the increasing downward trend of the global and regional economy and non-traditional security threats such as poverty relief, terrorism, natural disasters, climate change, environmental deterioration and pandemics. Among us, there have been comprehensive strategic partnerships, multilateral coordination mechanism in boosting peace, stability and development of the sub-region. We all recognized the need for joint efforts and economic integration to catch the opportunity and to address the challenges.

  Three months ago, the first Leaders' Meeting of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) was successfully convened in Sanya, affirmed a shared vision to generate great domestic development potential, enhance well-being of our people, and narrow the development gap among regional countries.

  Leaders of the six countries have laid solid foundation for all-round and long-term vision on sub-regional cooperation. Three cooperation pillars have identified, namely, the political and security issues, economic and sustainable development, and social, cultural and people to people exchange. There are five key priority areas being identified, i.e., connectivity, production capacity, cross-border economic cooperation, water resources, agriculture and poverty reduction. Nearly 100 early harvest projects are outlined in the joint list of cooperation.

  The LMC will follow the spirit of openness an inclusiveness, tally with the priority areas of ASEAN Community building and ASEAN-China cooperation, and be complement and in synergy with existing sub-regional cooperation mechanisms. The principles of consensus, equality, mutual consultation and coordination, voluntarism, common contribution and shared benefits, and respect for the United Nations Charter and international laws will guide the concrete cooperation and projects for the LMC.

  Furthermore, the Chinese initiative on the Belt and Road initiative which had already been on the gradual implementation has put the GMS at a highlighted strategic priority region. The operationalization of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund and the China-ASEAN fund have provide the sub-regional countries with a number of financial means for policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation and people-people exchange.

  The establishment of this new LMC mechanism will surely bring another important means of implementation and thus bring new momentum in the sub-regional integration.

  Ladies and Gentlemen,

        Since the entry into force of the Quartet Agreement on Lancang-Mekong Shipping in year 2001, water transport has contributed a lot in the sub-regional trade and tourism. In December of 2011, the four parties further started the joint patrol for law enforcement over the river, which greatly increased the security situation. Statistics shows that the shipping goods are steadily increasing. Tourism is very promising but need more mating investment. With further harmonizing with the road, rail and air transport, the Lancang-Mekong shipping will get more strengths for promoting the trade and tourism in the sub-region.  
        We are happy to see that the water resources development is among the five priorities for the LMC. Just under this backdrop, the research project carried out by the Mekong Institute, Development Potential of the International Shipping on the Lancang-Mekong River, is really on time and meaningful. It provided a comprehensive review for the transport, energy, trade, tourism and logistics for the shipping. The conclusions and suggestions are really worth of further explore for operationalization. I hope, through our warm and deep discussion at this workshop, a more clear-cut and practical proposal could be presented to the governments of the four countries for develop the new phase plan for shipping over the Lancang-Mekong river. 

  Over the years, MI has carried out practical cooperation programs in many aspects, including professional skills training, transportation, tourism, and trade facilitation. As an important capacity building and human resource development platform, MI continuously contributes to the sustainable development of the region. The dynamism of the sub-region development attaches high demands to MI. It could have unique role based on its 20 years working experiences. Chinese government highly commend the contribution of MI for promoting sub-regional integration. China will continue to work with other five countries to promote for a robust and stronger MI. We are also looking forward a more proactive and enterprising MI in the field of sub-regional connectivity, trade facilitation, human resources development and people to people exchange. As a member severed in the steering committee of MI, I personally will continue to push for a strengthened tie between China and MI. You can counted on my full cooperation and support.

  Last but not least, I’d like again to commend and congratulate MI for the successful completion of the research and for its important findings and suggestions. I hope the outcome of the research could be appropriately noted and operationalized by the line ministries of our four countries in the upper Mekong river.

  I wish the workshop a great success.

  Thank you.

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