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Wen calls on GMS nations to enhance competitiveness
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Monday that to enhance competitiveness through greater connectivity should be the focus of the future cooperation among countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

Wen made the remarks when addressing the Third GMS Summit in the Lao capital of Vientiane.

"The theme of this Summit, 'Enhancing Competitiveness through Greater Connectivity,' captures the underlying theme of subregional cooperation and reflects the common desire of the GMS countries," he said.

"It is in keeping with the development trend of the times," Wen added.

He called on the GMS countries, including Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, to make the following efforts to achieve this goal:

-- Treat each other with sincerity and enhance consultation and mutual trust. GMS countries shall forge close ties, increase mutual understanding, and form synergy so as to maintain a stable, harmonious and win-win cooperation environment in the subregion;

-- Step up development of transport, power and communications and make infrastructure in various countries connected to give strong support to efforts to upgrade cooperation in the subregion;

-- Promote both subregional cooperation and domestic development of individual countries, meet demands for human resources, preferential policies, industrial development and financing in a balanced way, and fully exploit the resources both in and outside the subregion, so as to advance cooperation in a well-coordinated manner;

-- Strike a balance between economic development and environmental protection, develop resources in a rational way, and place high priority on environmental protection and energy conservation and pollution control, so as to ensure sustainable development of GMS countries' cooperation.

"I am confident that so long as we are guided by the principle of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, deepen cooperation across the board and at multiple levels, step up coordination and are result-oriented, we will surely advance the subregional cooperation to a higher level and bring more benefits to our peoples," Wen said.

Invited as the guest of Lao Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh, Wen arrived in Vientiane on Saturday evening for a working visit to Laos and participating in the Third GMS Summit.

The GMS, established in 1992, promotes economic and social development, irrigation and cooperation within the six Mekong countries. The first GMS Summit was held in Cambodia's Phnom Penh in 2002, and the second in southwest China's Kunming in 2005.

(Xinhua News Agency March 31, 2008)

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