Co-Chairs’ Statement on Cooperation of Synergizing the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor of the Third Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Leaders’ Meeting
The 3rd Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Leaders’ Meeting was virtually held on August 24, 2020, to jointly promote the future development of MLC. The Meeting, co-chaired by H.E. Thongloun Sisoulith, the Prime Minister of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and H.E. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, was attended by all Heads of State/Government of the member countries of MLC.
We recalled the Sanya Declaration of the First MLC Leaders’ Meeting on March 23, 2016, the Phnom Penh Declaration of the Second MLC Leaders’ Meeting and the Five-Year Action Plan for MLC (2018-2022) endorsed on January 10, 2018, which committed to expand and deepen mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation and promoting the economic and social development of the countries along the Mekong-Lancang River, enhance the well-being of people of all member countries, narrowing the development gap in the region, and build a community of shared future of Mekong-Lancang countries for peace and prosperity.
We recognized the MLC as a new sub-regional cooperation mechanism featuring extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits among the six countries, which is committed to the cross-border economic and development cooperation among countries in the region, through the promotion of trade and investment;
We noted that the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor initiative would materialize multi-dimensional connectivity between Southeast Asia and Eurasia through the Western region of China. It aims to become a comprehensive international trade corridor integrating regional production linkages and supply chains, through land and sea connectivity and customs clearance facilitation;
We acknowledged the importance of shared cooperation in the MLC and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor to enhance economic, trade and investment cooperation among the Mekong-Lancang countries, promoting smooth trade and sustainable investment, improving the level of the regional supply and industrial chain, and building a strong, inclusive, sustainable and competitive sub-regional economy.
We acknowledged the opportunities to building leverage between the MLC Member States’ national development strategies, especially in infrastructure development and connectivity, and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor to promote economic cooperation and enhance connectivity and development among Member States, the MLC sub-region and beyond.
To support the synergy between the MLC and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, and pledged to lend policy support through necessary resources allocation:
1. We reaffirm our commitments to promote cooperation on connectivity, trade, investment and production capacity, by enhancing trade facilitation, further exploring land and sea connectivity facilities, carrying out various forms of trade and investment promotion activities and building more resilient and sustainable regional supply and industrial chain with a view to promote high-quality livelihood and sustainable development of the Mekong-Lancang region.
2. We will enhance cooperation in digital economy, human resource development as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in order to effectively navigate the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic, to boost employment and resume production and economic recovery.
3. Relying on the existing mechanisms and platforms such as the Joint Working Groups on MLC key priority areas and the past Senior Official Meeting for the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, we will promote the synergy between the MLC and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor.
4. We task the Global Center for Mekong Studies (GCMS) to undertake a thorough study on the potential benefits from aligning and synergizing the MLC and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor with a vast market. The result of which should be presented to the respective MLC Senior Officials’ Meeting and Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to prioritize areas of cooperation to be endorsed by the MLC Leaders at the 4th MLC Summit.
5. We will further deepen our cooperation among Mekong-Lancang countries under the Belt and Road Initiative enhancing the synergy of the MLC and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor with the aim of supporting the building of ASEAN Community.
6. This document was adopted by Lao PDR and China as the Co-chairs of the Third MLC Leaders’ Meeting on 24 August 2020.