Viet Nam affirms commitments to Mekong-Ganga Cooperation
VGP - Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son has affirmed Viet Nam’s commitments to the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), suggesting countries further uphold the potential of the mechanism to contribute to peace, prosperity and sustainable development in the region.
Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son attends the 11th Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC)Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, July 21, 2021 - Photo: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
In his speech, Bui proposed bolstering medical coordination via the research, production and distribution of vaccines, supply of antibiotics and medical equipment, improving the quality of medical staff and community-based medical system.
Further attention should be paid to promoting sustainable and inclusive economic recovery via facilitating trade and investment, ensuring regional supply chain, maintaining a stable business environment, promoting trade promotion programmes, and boosting infrastructure connectivity, he said.
The Vietnamese diplomat proposed countries reinforce joint work in science-technology, innovation, digital technology and infrastructure and give priority to sustainable water resources management and climate change response via experience sharing and technological transfer.
He stressed the need to improve the capacity of early forecasting and disaster management and enhance cooperation between the Mekong River Commission and the National Ganga River Basin Authority.
FMs from Viet Nam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and India joined the event at the invitation of Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn.
Marking the 20th anniversary of the MGC, the event reviewed two decades of regional cooperation and discussed opportunities, challenges as well as orientations for the next period.
They pledged to improve the capacity of preventing and controlling diseases, promote collaboration in traditional medicine, recover the economy post pandemic via facilitating trade, transport connectivity, technology, digital transformation, tourism, human resources training and development, cultural exchange, and connecting the MGC with regional connectivity initiatives.
Concluding the event, countries adopted a Joint Statement and agreed to hold the next meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting next year.
Two-way trade between India and Mekong countries rose 25-fold to US$25 billion last year.
India provided over US$2 billion in loans for projects regarding water resources development, infrastructure building and connectivity, digitalization, rural electrification, irrigation and education in Mekong countries.
By Hoang Ha