Foreign ministers scrutinize Mekong-RoK links

The 6th Mekong-Republic of Korea (RoK) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting took place in Vientiane, Laos on July 24 in the framework of the ongoing 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 49).

During the meeting, the foreign ministers from the RoK, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia reviewed Mekong-RoK connection in recent time and discussed future orientations for the cooperation mechanism.

They applauded remarkable achievements in performing the 2014-2017 Action Plan, including the implementation of projects concerning the development of waterways on the Mekong River, the 2016 Asia Pacific Teacher Exchange, a training programme of logistic services, those to upgrade the national hydrometeorology system and develop a legal information system in Myanmar.

The ministers hoped the Mekong-RoK Cooperation Fund (MRCF) will continue providing financial support for medium- and long-term projects, contributing to realising the master plan of ASEAN connectivity.

They appreciated the success of the 4 th Mekong-RoK Business Forum in Myanmar in June, saying that this offered a good chance for enterprises to seek cooperation opportunities in business and investment.

Participants agreed on the need to enhance bilateral and multilateral links with international partners and organisations in the Mekong River region while debating on global and regional issues related to the Korea peninsula, tensions in the East Sea, natural disasters and climate change, and security of water, energy and food.

The meeting approved a joint statement and seven projects, which will use funding from the MRCF.

In his speech, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh highlighted the importance of strengthened links within the Mekong-RoK cooperation mechanism to narrow the development gaps.

He also emphasised the need to encourage the private sectors to join the cooperation mechanism, especially in green growth, sustainable water management and development and climate change adaptation.

The Mekong River plays a vital role in the Mekong sub-region, therefore connection within the cooperation mechanism should further assist the Mekong River Commission (MRC)’s activities, he noted.

As scheduled, the 7 th Mekong-RoK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting will be held in the RoK in 2017.


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