December 26, 2023
HÀ NỘI – Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính affirmed that the Vietnamese Government will continue to cooperate with China and Mekong countries to promote strong, effective and sustainable Mekong-Lancang cooperation.
He made the statement while addressing the fourth Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Leaders’ Meeting via video conference on Monday.
He emphasised that Mekong-Lancang cooperation has become an important mechanism connecting Mekong countries – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Việt Nam, Thailand – and China, a model of cooperation for mutual development. Through seven years of development, MLC has reached three outstanding achievements: more complete mechanism; more substantive cooperation and more intensive friendship and mutual understanding between the peoples of the six countries.
Chính said, facing rapid and profound changes of the world’s economy, the six countries of Mekong and Lancang need new comprehensive thinking with an all-people, all-region and global approach bringing new, drastic, creative and groundbreaking solutions.
The Vietnamese leader proposed three priorities for Mekong-Lancang cooperation.
The first priority lies in building a modern and developed Mekong – Lancang region, with the motto of opening up, mobilising and effectively utilising resources, promoting all potentials and strengths of every country and all six countries.
The cooperation should consider internal forces as a basic factor, and strategy and external forces as important and groundbreaking factors. The central task is to promote industrialisation, modernisation, and build independent and self-reliant Mekong and Lancang economies associated with proactive, deep, substantive and effective international integration, he said.
The Mekong-Lancang partnership needed to make innovation, consider science and technology as the focus of cooperation while promoting digital transformation, encouraging the participation of development partners and the business community for harmonious benefits and shared risks, he said.
The second priority Chính mentioned was to build a green, sustainable and inclusive Mekong-Lancang region, ensuring harmony between the present and the future, between economic growth and environmental protection.
The cooperation must put people at the centre, make them the subject, the driving force, the resources and the goals of development, leaving no one behind. The immediate priority should be to support countries in implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and commitments to reduce carbon emissions towards building the green circular economy, he said.
He also urged the countries to strengthen cooperation throughout the basin on ecological environment conservation; natural disaster prevention and control; and effective, sustainable, fair and reasonable management and use of the shared Mekong – Lancang River without changing the natural flow of the river.
The third priority according to the Vietnamese leader is to build the Mekong – Lancang into a region of peace and cooperation. The six countries need to constantly strengthen trust, sincerity, solidarity; promote common interests and multilateralism, as well as strengthen the complementarity between Mekong – Lancang cooperation with ASEAN and other regional and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms.
Leaders at the meeting welcomed progress made in water resources and environment cooperation, especially in sharing year-round hydrological data of the Mekong – Lancang River, and conducting joint research on flood forecasting, natural disaster prevention and control.
A series of people-to-people exchange programmes and activities, educational and training cooperations, and tourism promotions had been successfully organised, contributing to strengthening the friendship and mutual understanding between the people of the six countries.
The leaders highly appreciated the fact that more than 300 technical assistance projects had been implemented with financial support from the Mekong – Lancang Special Fund.
They emphasised the motto of prioritising development, taking people as the centre, with harmony between people and nature, and taking innovation as the driving force for development.
The conference agreed to promote cooperation in building the Mekong – Lancang Economic Development Belt and study the possibility of establishing a coordination mechanism to promote the Mekong – Lancang Innovation Corridor.
At the end of the teleconference, the leaders approved the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration, the Mekong – Lancang Cooperation Action Plan for the 2023-27 period, and the Mekong – Lancang Innovation Corridor Initiative. VNS