Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh has stressed the need to boost road, waterway and aviation connectivity in order to fully tap co-operation potential between Mekong nations and India. — VNA/VNS Photo
MANILA – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh has stressed the need to boost road, waterway and aviation connectivity in order to fully tap co-operation potential between Mekong nations and India.
Minh made the statement at the 8th Mekong-Ganges Co-operation (MGC) Ministerial Meeting held yesterday within the framework of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings in Manila, the Philippines.
The meeting also saw the participation of foreign ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and India.
Along with the transport sector, Việt Nam also asked participating countries to facilitate trade, especially in customs procedures, strengthen co-operation in protecting the environment, coping with climate change, and using and managing the Mekong and Ganges rivers’ water resources sustainably.
The participating countries acknowledged these proposals, agreeing to establish a working group on transport to seek measures to intensify road, waterway and aviation connectivity, build a Buddhist trail through MGC countries, and boost co-ordination between their travel agencies.
The ministers also emphasised the importance of expanding co-operation in new areas to consolidate economic linkage and promote potential in trade and economic ties.
They suggested developing micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs), organising a global MSMEs Summit, strengthening co-operation among businesses, holding an annual MGC Business Forum with the first to take place in India in January 2018, and stepping up co-operation in health care, especially in malaria prevention.
At the meeting, participants applauded the achievements the two sides have gained over the past time, including the Asian Traditional Textiles Museum in Cambodia’s Siem Reap, a MGC scholarship programme with over 900 scholarships granted to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Việt Nam each year, and a data centre at India’s Nalanda University. — VNS