About Summit

Speech by H.E.Mr Somsavat LENGSAVAD,
Deputy Prime Minister, Head of delegation of the Lao PDR
at the First Asian Cooperation Dialogue Summit
Kuwait City, 16 October 2012

 

His Highness Sheikh Sabah AI-Ahmed AI-Jaber Al-Sabah,
The Amir of Kuwait,
Majesties, Highnesses, Excellencies,

At the outset, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the State of Kuwait for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to us. I would also like to congratulate the State of Kuwait for playing host to the First Asian Cooperation Dialogue Summit which is taking place in this beautiful and prosperous city of Kuwait.

Let me also extend a warm welcome to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as a new member of the ACD family.

Majesties, Highnesses, Excellencies,

During the past decade, the ACD cooperation framework has steadily developed and attained gradual progress.

The Lao PDR highly values the achievements made within the ACD cooperation framework, and I would like to commend H.E Thaksin Shinnawatra for his far-sighted vision in establishing the Asian Cooperation Dialogue as well as the Thai Government for her hard work as the ACD country coordinator during the past ten years. My congratulations also go to the Prime Movers and Co-Prime Movers for their diligent work in bolstering cooperation in their respective sectors namely the organization of meetings and seminars in order to exchange views, experience and best practices with each other.

Distinguished Guests,

Currently, ACD is heading into its second decade while confronting with daunting challenges and prevailing opportunities. I am of the view that we shall further intensify greater cooperation in the existing 20 sectors, explore means to harness and complement each member country's untapped potential and comparative advantages while striving to contain challenges and optimize opportunities to the best of our ability in order to bring about the maximum benefits to our peoples and contribute to advancing global progress and prosperity.

I highly appreciate the remarks made by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, especially I would like to express my sincere gratitude to His Highness' announcement to provide financing for development projects of the. Least Developed Countries. At the same time, I would also like to commend Prime Minister Yinluck Shinnawatra and Leaders of many countries for raising a number of new initiatives to the meeting. In this regard, allow me to make some points as follows:

First of all, I noted that global climate is changing dramatically causing heavy casualties to mankind. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to focus our dialogue on finding collective measures in the context of food security; as you may be aware, the Asian continent has abundant and diverse potentials such as: some countries have vast land suitable for crop cultivation and livestock breeding while many countries are endowed with oil resources and others. In this respect, I believe that it would be a good idea if we could explore ways to set up a kind of barter trade arrangement whereas we could swap oil for rice and agricultural products both bilaterally and multilaterally. This project would be a concrete manifestation of mutual help that would respond to the actual needs of sufficient food and oil aimed at alleviating people's poverty from the effects of climate change and ensuring sustainable development.

Furthermore, energy cooperation is deemed also crucial. As far as the Lao PDR is concerned, it is one of the nations with abundant rivers and streams. Therefore, our Government has laid down a sustainable water management strategy on water sources utilization as a major strength in generating electricity in order to meet domestic consumption and export it to neighboring countries. In contrast, the Lao PDR is a country with no oil resources and has to rely totally on oil import from overseas for the country's production and consumption. As a result, the fluctuation of oil prices constitutes a key precursor to causing inflation in my country.

Therefore, may I propose to our ACD, especially to the oil exporting nations to explore a strategy on sustainable energy development in view of assisting the non-oil countries. This is a clear reflection of ACD cooperation in order to address poverty, achieve the MDGs and deepen our peoples' mutual understanding and friendship.

Majesties, Highnesses, Excellencies,

At this Summit meeting, allow me to raise another issue on the cooperation in the field of transport communication. This is highly important and most needed for the landlocked developing countries.

As you know, the Lao PDR is also a landlocked developing country. To address this issue, the Lao Government has outlined a strategy to convert the country's landlocked status into land-link. In the past, our Government has invested heavily including the utilization of foreign grant aid and loans into communication infrastructure development so as to build roads connecting the Lao PDR with its neighbors. At present, the Lao PDR is discussing with the People's Republic of China on the Lao - China rail link construction project that falls within the context of China-A SEAN rail link program.

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,

We believe that the scaling- up of ACD into the Leaders' Summit constitutes a new step to enhance cooperation existed in the past decade. Therefore, while advancing into the next decade, there should be more concrete activities. For this reason, I highly appreciate the initiative put forward on the establishment of the ACD secretariat which is a constructive idea aimed at ensuring more tangible results for the ACD cooperation. Since this is a new initiative and important task, we shall delegate this work to the ACD officials to explore it together with our countries' respective eminent persons and academies in order to come up with a detailed blue print to be further submitted for consideration at the next ACD Ministerial meeting.

Majesties, Highnesses, Excellencies,

As a member of ACD since its early inception, the Lao PDR has always supported the cooperative relations among Asian nations. The Lao PDR remains also committed to taking an active part in enhancing the existing cooperation in a more concrete and efficient manner.

I wish the first ACD Summit a brilliant success.

I thank you.

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