Participants of the online conference under the Mekong-US Partnership Track 1.5 Policy Dialogue framework. — Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
WASHINGTON — Việt Nam welcomes the US Government’s strong commitment and practical actions to strengthen its cooperation with and support for Mekong countries, notably the donation of millions of doses of vaccines and medical equipment for COVID-19 prevention and control in the region, said a Vietnamese official.
At a virtual opening ceremony of a conference under the Mekong-US Partnership Track 1.5 Policy Dialogue, Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Hà Kim Ngọc lauded the rapid growth of the partnership. The conference, themed energy and infrastructure, gathers more than 130 representatives of the sides and a number of other partners.
In his speech, Ngọc affirmed that energy and infrastructure are always a high priority in cooperation among Mekong countries and ASEAN member states, which is important to help narrow the development gap.
The diplomat suggested that the US and Mekong countries continue to attach importance to their cooperation in the fields, especially in post-pandemic recovery efforts.
He hoped there will be high-quality US projects implemented in the Mekong sub-region.
Reaffirming the nation’s strong commitment to the region and the importance of the Mekong-US Partnership, US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel J. Kritenbrink said that the US will continue to coordinate with Mekong nations and other partners to implement agreed plans and projects.
The US will coordinate with Japan to provide technical support for the development of renewable energy and cross-border electricity and trade, and improve energy markets, promote a pilot project to build an energy storage system in Việt Nam, and another project on electric vehicle development in Thailand.
Participants discussed orientations for sustainable energy and infrastructure development in the Mekong sub-region, ensuring socio-economic goals, and improving the capacity to adapt to climate change.
They also mentioned challenges such as differences between countries' legal regulations, lack of coordination in the implementation of some hydropower projects, and increasing threat of climate change.
The event is the second in a series of Mekong-US Partnership Track 1.5 Policy Dialogue conferences slated for 2021-23. — VNS