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Vietnam urges sustainable development for Mekong-Lancang Cooperation

Increasing the sharing of hydrological and meteorological data and operations of hydroelectric dams remains one of key issues proposed by Vietnam.

Vietnam said the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation must be substantive with the coincidence of economic growth and sustainable development.

Vietnam's Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son at the meeting. Photos: Baoquocte 

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son made the statement at the 7th Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held on July 4 in Bagan, Myanmar in the attendance of his counterparts from Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand.

To support the common goal, Son suggested four issues including prioritizing economic recovery and resilience with a focus on customs cooperation and smooth trade transactions; supporting regional members in climate adaptation and energy transition; further cooperation in water resources management and use  by speeding up the building of an action plan on MLC Water Resources Cooperation in 2023-2027, boosting dialogues among members in developing water resources, increasing the sharing of hydrological and meteorological data and operations of hydroelectric dams, and strengthening coordination between the MLC and the Mekong River Commission; and boosting the people-to-people ties through tourism, culture, sports, and communication programs among youth and women.

Vietnam’s ideas have been observed and used for reference in the meeting’s documents.

Foreign Ministers of the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation at the event.  

At the meeting, the delegates highlighted the MLC contributions to cooperation and development in the region, especially during the pandemic. Two-way trade between the Mekong countries and China in 2021 reached nearly US$400 billion, up 23% on year.

Many large infrastructure works have been completed and hundreds of technical assistance projects implemented.

The 7th MLC Meeting adopted a joint press release and four joint statements on strengthening agricultural cooperation, disaster prevention, customs and trade facilitation, and exchanges between MLC civilizations.

Accordingly, MLC cooperation in the near future will focus on the four major aspects: economic recovery and development through enhanced connectivity, trade, digital economy, production capacity, resilient supply chains, trade facilitation and customs clearance; disaster management, environmental protection, climate change adaptation, sustainable use of water resources, green energy transition, and sustainable infrastructure development; strengthening health security, promoting cooperation in traditional medicine; and people-to-people exchanges through cultural activities, tourism, media, sports, education and human resource development.

Established in 2016, the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation consists of Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.