On 21 November 2019, the opening ceremony of the 2019 Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Expo (hereinafter referred to as the 2019 LMC Expo) and the LMC Dianchi Forum were held in Kunming, Yunnan Province. The events were hosted by China International Chamber of Commerce (CCOIC) and organized by CCPIT Yunnan Sub-council and Kunming Municipal Government. Mr. Lu Pengqi, Vice President of CCPIT and CCOIC, Mr. Chen Junjie, representative of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Mr. Guo Chuanwei, Director of Trade and Investment Division of ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), and Mr. Wang Guoping, Deputy Secretary-General of Asian Financial Cooperation Association (AFCA), attended and addressed the opening ceremony. Mr. Chhuon Dara, Cambodian State Secretary of Ministry of Commerce, and a representative of the Lao Planning and Investment Department attended the event.
In his opening speech, Mr. Lu Pengqi said that the Lancang-Mekong region has become one of the regions with the most potential for development in Asia and even in the world. All parties are carrying out various LMC activities to implement the Belt and Road Initiative, take further advantage of regional linkage and strategic partnership, and promote win-win cooperation between ASEAN and China, especially between the Lancang-Mekong sub-region and China.
Mr. Chen Junjie said that LMC mechanism, as a new sub-regional cooperation initiated by the six countries in the Langcang-Mekong region, is an important platform for promoting BRI international cooperation based on the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. Participants should take advantage of this platform to share experience, tap development potential, and explore ways of innovation to promote cooperation in production capacity, digital economy, cross-border e-commerce, industrial parks, trade facilitation and other fields among the six countries, so as to achieve greater mutual benefits and share development outcomes.
Mr. Guo Chuanwei opined that the vigorous development of LMC mechanism has injected new vitality into ASEAN-China cooperation. 2020 will be the Year of ASEAN-China Digital Economy Cooperation. The six countries should work together to seize the development opportunities and strengthen the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative, the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Vision 2030 and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 by highlighting key projects in areas of infrastructure, digital economy, energy and logistics, so as to promote sustainable economic and social development in the region.
Mr. Wang Guoping pointed out that finance plays an increasingly prominent role in LMC. Financial institutions and organizations should contribute to building the Lancang Mekong community with a shared future by strengthening exchanges, deepening cooperation and providing solid financial support and services.
At the LMC Dianchi Forum, Mr. Chhuon Dara, Cambodian State Secretary of Ministry of Commerce, spoke highly of the LMC mechanism and the BRI international cooperation. He suggested that the six countries should work together to enhance the competitiveness of regional economy to benefit all the people in the region by innovating development and cooperation models, improving infrastructure and policy connectivity and promoting collaborative cooperation. Focusing on mechanism construction, cross-border economic cooperation and the China (Yunnan) Pilot Free Trade Zone, guests including Mr. Wang Yiming, former Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of Yunnan Provincial People's Congress, Mr. Tu Guangshao, former Executive Vice Mayor of Shanghai and Mr. Zhao Xiaoyu, Chairman of the Council of China Green Development and Green Finance Entrepreneurs discussed the practical significance and development direction of LMC and shared innovation modes and practice of industrial cooperation under the framework of the LMC mechanism.
The 2019 LMC Expo, with the theme of “The Same River - Cooperation and Joint Development”, covered an exhibition area of over 40,000 square meters. In addition to the commodity exhibition and thematic forum, the China 66 people's Green Development and Green Finance Lancang-Mekong Round-table Meeting, the China-Lao PDR Investment Fair, and the China-Cambodia Investment Fair were held during the Expo.