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China seeks to further cooperate with GMS countries

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VIENTIANE, June 30 (Xinhua) -- China is committed to cooperating with other countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) to the best of its capacity, Assistant Minister of Commerce of China Yu Jianhua said here on Thursday.

He made the remarks at the Third GMS Economic Corridors Forum, which opened on Thursday in Laos' capital of Vientiane and attended by ministers and senior officials from the GMS countries as well as representatives from the private sector and development partners

During his opening speech, Yu reiterated China's commitment to working closely with other GMS countries and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to take concrete measures to fully achieve common development and prosperity in the region.

"We should continue to use the forum as a platform for furthering cooperation through coordination by central governments, implementation by local governments, advancement by regional organizations such as ADB, and participation by private sectors," Yu said.

The one-day forum discussed how to further sustain and strengthen the development of the region's North-South Economic Corridor (NSEC), East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) and Southern Economic Corridor (SEC).

The forum also discussed how to enhance support and advance the strategies and action plans (SAPs) prepared for EWEC, NSEC and SEC, which provide the road map for economic corridor development.

To transform transport corridors into economic corridors, Yu said China suggests further improvements to infrastructure to realize physical connectivity, strengthen capacity building to boost regional integration, and explore new cooperation models in order to attract investors and explore new investment avenues.

China has provided over 45 billion RMB (around 7 billion U.S. dollars) worth of assistance to other GMS countries, helping to build infrastructure projects, Yu said.

By the end of May 2011, China had provided training to 6,628 personnel from GMS countries in the fields of economy, finance, agriculture, transportation, health care, science and technology, energy and environment protection, with plans to train a total 1, 170 personnel in 2011, he added.

"We will continue our efforts to make our own contribution to the best of our capacity," Yu said.

The GMS comprises China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The GMS Economic Corridors Forum was established in Kunming, Yunnan Province of China, on June 6, 2008, to serve as the main advocate and promoter of multi-sector coordination in corridor development, by raising awareness of the needs of the priority GMS corridors, increasing the involvement of local authorities in corridor affairs and improving public-private collaboration.

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