Kunming Declaration: 'A Stronger GMS Partnership for Common Prosperity'
Second Greater Mekong Subregion Summit
Kunming, Yunnan, People's Republic of China
4-5 July 2005
We, the Heads of Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the People's
Republic of China, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Union of
Myanmar, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet
Nam, met in Kunming, China for the Second GMS Summit. We were pleased
to be joined in our discussions by the President of the Asian
Development Bank (ADB).
2. At the First GMS Summit in Phnom Penh
three years ago, we set our vision of an integrated, harmonious and
prosperous sub-region, and our vision of a GMS characterized by steady
economic growth, social progress and environmental sustainability. With
our joint efforts, our vision is gradually being turned into reality.
Today, we reaffirm the commitments to our vision. We are determined to
carry forward our development agenda that seeks to fulfill its vast
potential, lift people from poverty and promote sustainable development
for all. And we resolve to achieve that goal by further enhancing
connectivity, competitiveness and community building.
I. Achievements and Challenges
We are encouraged by the success of GMS cooperation over the past 13
years and appreciate the significant progress achieved so far,
particularly since the first GMS Summit. We are satisfied with the
evolvement of a more integrated, focused and policy-oriented
cooperation process, a stronger partnership among member countries and
other stakeholders, as well as practical results generated from a wide
range of specific projects and initiatives.
5. We acknowledge
our individual and collective efforts and achievements obtained in
enhancing important infrastructure and reducing non-physical barriers,
especially in the energy and transport sectors, in order to create a
more desirable and competitive trade and investment environment. We
also take note of our expedited and deepened cooperation in such fields
as telecommunication, environment, tourism, agriculture and human
resources development, all of which are inherent components for
advancing the GMS program. In particular, we are pleased with the
significant progress in the alleviation of poverty in the GMS.
We witness the regional and global situation undergoing profound
changes. Threats, old and new, are intertwining. We shall carry forward
our future cooperation to tackle the threats confronting us, which
include poverty, development gaps and emerging threats to human
security, such as terrorism and cross-border crimes, especially drug
smuggling and trafficking of human beings. The spread of infectious
diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Avian Flu, environmental degradation, and
the menace of natural disasters are also serious threats that call for
greater surveillance and response preparedness.
7. To meet the
challenge, we shall sharpen our vision and redouble our efforts for the
future. We shall also consolidate the fundamental principles
underpinning our success and reaffirm our commitment to partnership.
II. Guiding Principles for GMS Cooperation
Throughout the GMS process, some commonly accepted principles have
gradually developed from our cooperation. These principles have been
playing a catalytic role in maintaining the momentum of the GMS process
by laying down the ground rules, shaping our common agenda, and keeping
us focused on the most pressing priorities. We highly value and, when
moving ahead, shall stand steadfastly by the principles.
principle of equality and mutual respect has constituted the solid
foundation for our cooperation since the inception of GMS. GMS members
share common aspirations for common prosperity of the sub-region. All
members, despite the diversity in geographic and economic conditions,
are equal partners in GMS cooperation and can exert concerted and
collaborative efforts in the pursuit of common goals.
Consensus-building in decision-making has been instrumental in
enhancing solidarity in the sub-region. Coupled with flexibility on
inter alia, timing and participation, this approach, to the largest
possible extent, accommodates the different needs and concerns of
different members while reflecting the common interests of all. We have
managed to build broad-based support for our common development agenda,
and above all, for advancing our process at the project-level by
conducting thorough consultations and pooling our comparative
advantages and strengths.
11. Pragmatism and an outward-looking
orientation are key to bringing about the GMS vision. One of the most
important lessons we have learned is that we can only be as successful
as we are action-oriented, result-based and need-driven in our
approach. By taking this approach, the GMS program has delivered
practical results in a wide range of specific areas and brought
significant benefits to our people.
12. The step-by-step
approach has proven to be pertinent and effective in promoting the GMS
cooperation. Given the enormous tasks ahead of us, we should expand and
deepen our cooperation gradually, focusing on both short-term urgent
priority programs and strategies based on longer-term needs. By doing
so, we will cooperate in an orderly and effective manner with tangible
III. Road Ahead towards Sustainable Development
In line with our vision, we reaffirm our commitments in pursuing the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We undertake to adopt appropriate
policies and measures to accelerate GMS cooperation agenda as reflected
in the GMS Strategic Framework. To this end, we will redouble our
efforts in the following four key areas.
Reinforcing Infrastructure for Development
Cross-border infrastructure is key to economic development and
prosperity in the region. A well-built, seamless, multi-modal
infrastructure is essential to the facilitation of trade, movement of
people and the provision of basic services throughout the whole region.
We therefore commit ourselves to fully 'connecting GMS'. To that end,
we commit to sustained and greater inputs to strengthen the
sub-regional infrastructure linkages through a multi-sector and
15. We support the development of a
sub-regional transport sector strategy next year that will identify
critical transport links not only among the GMS countries but also with
our neighbors in South and Southeast Asia. We agree to complete the
major transport links along the East-West corridor by 2008 and along
the North-South and Southern Coastal corridors by 2010. To promote
greater efficiency, we have agreed to expand cooperation in transport
infrastructure to include railways, air transport and waterways.
We are encouraged by the considerable progress in negotiating the
annexes and protocols of the Cross-border Transport Agreement and the
commencement of its implementation. We instruct our ministers to
complete the negotiations of the remaining annexes and protocols by the
end of 2005 and to move with speed and purpose to implement the
Agreement at an increasing number of border crossings. We will take all
necessary domestic measures to ensure that the Agreement can be
implemented starting in 2006.
17. We urge the accelerated
completion of the telecommunications fiber optic network. We will work
together to harness the power of ICT to transform the digital divide
into a digital dividend by using it to empower people and build
knowledge-based economies. The implementation of the GMS Information
Super Highway will be at the core of this endeavor.
18. We are
also committed to move swiftly to complete the work on the power trade
operating agreement that will create transparent rules and regulatory
framework for regional power trade. We have agreed to ensure
sub-regional energy security by expanding energy cooperation to include
improvement of energy efficiency and alternative sources of energy
especially on biofuel by making use of our agricultural products that
are available within the sub-region.
Improving Trade and Investment Environment
The GMS is committed to creating a conducive and competitive
environment for trade, investment and private sector development. To
strengthen market fundamentals, we will promote financial efficiency, a
sound policy and institutional, legal and regulatory framework, and
undertake further facilitation and harmonization of trade and
20. We endorse the GMS Strategic Framework
for Action on Trade Facilitation and Investment (SFA-TFI) that commits
to time-bound, specific measures to reduce trade and business
transaction costs in the sub-region. We direct the ministers and
officials to develop and implement concrete plans of actions to give
effect to the SFA-TFI in close collaboration with our development
partners, including the private sector.
21. We recognize the
private sector as the engine of GMS growth and value its contribution.
We must make greater efforts to build capacity of the GMS Business
Forum and ensure a more active role for it. We welcome the fruitful
outcomes from the dialogue between us and the business community on 4
July. To maximize the potential of the private sector, we will ensure
that industry and business are involved in the planning and
implementation of GMS programs so that these become relevant and
responsive to their needs.
Strengthening Social and Environmental Infrastructure
Social infrastructure holds another key to realizing our vision for
reduced disparities and common prosperity because it enables social
equity and the harmonization of our community. Hence, we affirm our
unyielding commitments to accelerate domestic and sub-regional efforts
to create an enabling environment for improving social infrastructure
including increasing human and institutional capacity building.
We affirm that poverty alleviation remains at the core of our
development efforts. Despite the considerable progress made, poverty
endures. The levels of poverty are still unacceptable. The high rates
of economic growth we have recently witnessed motivate us to further
eradicate poverty so that the benefits of growth are equitably
distributed. We shall continue to direct our regional initiatives to
impact positively on the poor. In order to maximize these efforts, we
shall call for more holistic community based actions which integrate
all efforts from multi-sectors and stakeholders by providing them with
greater opportunities for economic and social infrastructure.
We are aware that the agricultural development is essential to poverty
reduction since poverty is largely a rural phenomenon across the GMS,
Thus, we pledge to accelerate cooperation in the agriculture sector,
giving priority to improving farmers' livelihood and ensure food
security for the poor through technical assistance such as the
launching of the GMS agricultural information website. We will focus on
collaborative efforts on the cross-border dimensions of agriculture. We
therefore call for the early convening of the meeting of the GMS
agricultural ministers. We also agree to take up the issue of
prevention and control of animal epidemics among GMS countries.
We emphasize the importance of knowledge and technologies in improving
our competitiveness. We are also convinced that human resource
development represents great potential for development in the
sub-region. We are determined to better empower our people and enhance
human capacities to face the challenges of globalization. Our public
institutions have to be better equipped to design and manage a complex
development agenda. We acknowledge the effective role of Phnom Penh
Plan in building capacity and urge the expansion of this well-designed
program to maximize coverage and to expose our officials to cutting
edge development technologies. To bridge the knowledge gap and give us
the competitive edge in world markets, we will also step up efforts at
building knowledge-based society through expanded cooperation in
education and training and by way of developing tertiary education
institutions and promoting their networking.
26. In the wake of
new health threats such as SARS and avian flu, we will step up
cooperation in health programs. In 2005, a communicable disease control
program will be established. It will strengthen surveillance and
coordination systems at our borders. In this context, we urge the
Ministers to consider establishing a continuing mechanism to strengthen
health surveillance and coordination.
conservation and sustainable management and use of shared natural
resources in the Mekong river basin are vital to the sustainable
development in the sub-region. We are determined to protect our natural
environment and are committed to use our natural resources wisely. We
reaffirm to undertake our commitments to the environmental protection
as set out in the Plan of Action to Implement the Kunming Declaration
on ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity adopted
on 29 November 2004, Vientiane, Lao PDR. We welcome the recommendations
by the ministers on the implementation of core environment program,
together with local communities and development partners at their
meeting in Shanghai, China in May 2005. We congratulate the GMS
Environment Ministers for launching the Biodiversity Conservation
Corridors initiative and the three-year action plan. This will conserve
our terrestrial biodiversity and protected areas in the economic
corridors as they are developed.
28. Tourism is a key job
creator in the GMS and brings particular benefits to local communities.
It is universally recognized as an area of GMS comparative advantage.
We welcome the recommendations of the GMS Tourism Strategy Study to
support a more holistic and coordinated approach to tourism
development, including the implementation of identified high-priority
projects, and the promotion of pro-poor and environment-friendly
tourism. We urge the marketing of the GMS as a single tourist
destination and encourage further work to develop a GMS visa.
The considerable initiatives in physical, environmental and social
infrastructure, and in trade and investment, will require strengthened
GMS institution capacities, and especially, in the GMS national
secretariats. We are committed to strengthening those capacities to
better coordinate and manage GMS Program.
Mobilizing Resources and Deepening Partnership
We have to find the significant financial resources to implement our
priority development programs. The development community has become our
staunch ally. We greatly value its contribution to our cooperative
efforts. We will strengthen and expand our relationships with
development partners to draw on their considerable reservoirs of
expertise and resources. We will also intensify partnerships with the
private sector, academe and civil society organizations.
recognize and highly appreciate the unique and dynamic role that ADB
has played in catalyzing and supporting the GMS program. Its task,
however, has become more complex and urgent. ADB needs to play an even
larger role and to support us at higher levels of resource and
knowledge transfers. Its role in bringing the GMS onto the center stage
of economic integration in Asia will be crucial.
32. We look forward to meet again at the 3rd GMS Summit in Lao PDR in 2008.
In conclusion, we pledge ourselves to a closer and stronger GMS
partnership for common prosperity. We are confident that with our
concerted effort the vision we embrace here will over time come to full