Deputy PM highlights importance of Mekong countries' partnership

Update: November, 13/2015 - 08:39
Deputy PM and Foreign Affairs Minister Pham Binh Minh addresses at the first Mekong-Lancang Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Yunnan, China yesterday . — VNA/VNS Photo Trung Kien

BEIJING (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has highlighted that co-operation among upper and lower Mekong countries for the sustainable management and use of the Mekong River should be the top priority for the Mekong-Lancang partnership.

Speaking at the first Mekong-Lancang Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Yunnan, China yesterday, the Deputy PM said that collaboration between the countries in infrastructure development and transport connections should also be strengthened, as well as creating favourable condition for trade and investment and poverty reduction.

Underscoring the vital importance of the Mekong River to people living in its basin, he proposed that the six Mekong countries should focus on realising specific projects, bringing practical benefits to the people and ensuring the interests of all parties.

Deputy PM Minh also emphasised that the Mekong-Lancang partnership should help boost the ASEAN-China partnership, contributing to the process of building the ASEAN Community.

At the same time, the mechanism should support and co-ordinate closely with other existing sub-regional co-operation mechanisms such as the Greater Mekong Sub-Region Co-operation and the Mekong River Commission to optimise resources and help Mekong countries make the full use of opportunities while minimising challenges during the development process, he added.

During the meeting, participants agreed the affiliation between the six Mekong countries – China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam – would help boost socio-economic development, improve people's living conditions, strengthen regional integration and contribute to the formation of the ASEAN Community.

The ministers shared their ideas on the building of a co-operation framework among the six countries, aiming to reinforce trust and friendly neighbourliness, while fostering collaboration in economics, sustainable development, culture, society, people-to-people contacts, security and politics.

Noting the importance of the Mekong River to the growth of all six countries, they agreed to increase their sustainable management and exploitation of the Mekong River as well as protecting the environment.

The ministers issued a joint statement saying they wished to bolster their co-operation for a Mekong region of peace, stability and sustainable development. On the sidelines of the event, Deputy PM Minh also met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss measures to strengthen the Viet Nam-China comprehensive strategic partnership. — VNS