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GMS Summit: No Agreement on Hydropower

By: Ly Menghour The Mekong Times Posted: April-01-2008 in
Ly Menghour The Mekong Times

Upon arriving at the Phnom Penh International Airport yesterday evening, Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh said six GMS leaders had shown "a common will to equally use the Mekong River and enjoy mutual benefits" despite the fact that hydroelectricity development was not discussed at the GMS conference.

Most important would be "cooperation on when to open and close water [gates], and keep water," Cham Prasidh said, referring to planned hydroelectricity dams across the Mekong.

All GMS nations need water for agriculture and hydroelectricity, he stressed. China, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam are GMS members. Cham Prasidh told reporters a delegation led by Prime Minister Hun Sen had signed several agreements with the Lao government during the visit.

The Cambodian and Lao foreign ministers had inked an agreement enabling people living near the countries' shared border to cross more easily, he said, and the Cambodian and Lao ministers of public works and transport signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to allow for vehicles to transport goods between the two countries.

Cham Prasidh said six leaders had signed the GMS's Vientiane "action plan." The plan focuses on the joint development of nine sectors, including; cross-border transportation networks, the sale of power in the GMS region, fiber optic networks, agriculture, environmental protection, investment, human resources development and cross border trade.

This article first appeared in The Mekong Times
The Mekong Times is a daily newspaper distributed in Cambodia.
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