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Address by Mr. Oudet Souvannavong, Chairman GMS Business Council

by T.K (Mofa)30 March 2018 Last updated at 13:39 PM

VTV.vn - Address by Mr. Oudet Souvannavong, Chairman GMS Business Council, President Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in GMS Business Council Open Session GMS Business Summit, 30th March 2018, VNCC, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Excellencies - GMS Ministers,

Distinguished Delegates from GMS Countries,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the GMS Business Council, I am very pleased to address to this GMS Business Summit’ Open Session, in Hanoi, the vibrant capital of Vietnam. The GMS Business Council is a Private Sector Organization, established in 2000 to support Governments’ Regional Economic Cooperation, with the aims to develop private sector participation in the development of GMS Economic Corridors.

To support the activities of the GMS Development Program, the GMS-BC has established private sector led working groups to promote the development trade and investment along the GMS economic corridors. The activities have been centered to facilitate cross-border trade and transport, through the operation of the GMS Freight Transport Association (GMS-FRETA); to Improve the business environment and access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); to enhance the participation of the private sector in the infrastructure development projects of the GMS Regional Investment Framework (RIF); and to address pre-and-post disaster preparedness and mitigation for GMS enterprises.

Remarkable achievements were made in developing freight transport and logistics by the GMS-FRETA with the assistance of a number of development partners, especially in upgrading the logistic standard in CMLV countries and in the capacity building of transport operators and truck drivers.

The GMS is entering its third decade of collaboration with a stronger commitment to its shared objectives in connectivity, community, and competitiveness. The GMS recently adopted a new action plan – the Hanoi Action Plan 2018 (HAP) – that call for an expansion of economic corridors to boost connectivity between countries. GMS Governments also endorsed the GMS Regional Investment Framework 2022, to support the HAP through a pipeline of 227 investment and Technical Assistance projects valuated at 66 Billion US Dollars. The GMS Governments encourages development partners and the private sector to meet financing requirements in the GMS, and the GMS-BC represents the participation of the private sector to contribute to the thrusts of the GMS.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today the business community in the GMS faces greater opportunities and challenges resulting from deepening economic integration and emergence of new technologies and new business models which is often referred to “industrial revolution 4.0.”. On the overhands, New Free Trade Areas (FTAs) and economic cooperation under the ASEAN Plus have significantly lower barriers to trade and created larger markets and intensify competition in the region. Trade liberalization reinforces the growth of new technologies and new business model taking advantage of the digital economy, creating new ways of competing and new value for customers. It is today more critical than ever before that business in GMS countries need to work with the governments to enable local enterprises and especially SMEs and MSMEs to move faster in adopting new technologies, new market models and responding to new market opportunities in order to become competitive and access to regional and global value chains. The GMS-BC is mandated to play a key role in this transformation.

In order to enable the GMS-BC to participate effectively, the Private Sector Development Strategic Action Plan 2018 prepared by the council with the support of the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) is aligned with the GMS focus areas specified in the HAP 2018-2020. For example:

 in transport and trade facilitation, focus will be to enhance GMS-FRETA’s public collaboration, cross border logistics, the development of digital platform, transit bonds, the initial implementation of the CBTA and others;

 in agriculture, focus will be to promote Agri-tech and cross border supply chains; Under the Mekong Agri-tech Accelerator (MATCh), startups were invited to join their program to showcase competitive application process sought to identify agricultural technologies and new business model with potential to reshape agriculture towards sustainable and inclusive growth in the GMS. A competition has just taken place yesterday and we have invited two finalists to join us as panelists in today’s session. MATCh is the first accelerator for agri-tech startups in the GMS whose mission is to transform Mekong Agriculture Industries into leading suppliers of safe and nutritious food through entrepreneurship and technology.

 in tourism, focus will be to promote marketing solutions for GMS as one destination;

 in environment, the focus is in the promotion of SMART City and environment friendly solutions and disaster risk preparedness and management;

 in Human Resource Development focus are in certification of GMS training courses, ASEAN Training of Trainers (ToT), the promotion of GMS MBA, GMS Capital Market Academy (GMS-CMA) and others;

 in e-commerce the promotion of digital economy, cross border finance, fin-tech solution.

Other private sector development priority to support the above activity focuses are;

 the establishment of a GMS Young Entrepreneur Network. One of the Sessions of this event, is the launch of the “Mekong Business Connect Application”, that aim to enhance the network of entrepreneurs and boost business connectivity. This application is a Business Application in the model utilized by the Cambodia Young Entrepreneurs Associations;

 and the development of technology solutions for SMEs and MSMEs access to finance.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This GMS BC Open Session will discuss on GMS Business Outlook and New Economic Drivers. The conference will start with a high-level panel to get views of GMS Ministers, this will be followed by a session on new business models to get views of young and women entrepreneurs, and terminate with a session to present and discuss the Private Sector Development Strategic Action Plan 2018.

As there is a large participation of businesses from the GMS, this event creates the opportunity for business networking, please do so and get connection to expand your business in the region.

To end my statement, I would like to congratulate the Government of Vietnam and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) for the great organization and arrangements extended to all our delegates. I am looking forward for your active participation, and wish the GMS Business Summit and great success.

Thank you.

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