Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar co-chaired the 10th Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok on August 1.
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at the event
The meeting was also attended bythe foreign ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.
Speaking at the event, Minh laudedMGC’s activities over the past years and thanked India for providing supportfor the Mekong region.
As the year 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of MGC, he suggested giving priority to strengthening connectivity,especially the expansion of the East - West Economic Corridor and India –Myanmar – Thailand expressway leading to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, theSouthern Economic Corridor leading to India via roads and sea routes.
Other areas include trade andinvestment facilitation via removal of trade barriers; cooperation in customsclearance, quarantine and regional supply chain development; sustainable waterresources management, especially collecting and monitoring water resourcesdata, underground water management, climate change adaptation, flooding anddrought control.
The ministers hailed MGC’s pastactivities, particularly the grant of scholarships to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmarand Vietnam; the construction of Asian traditional textiles museum in SiemReap, a data centre in India’s Nalanda University, business forums and meetingsof working groups on MGC’s small and medium-sized enterprises.
In particular, the MGC QuickImpact Projects Fund offered financial assistance to 24 projects in the Mekongnations, including nine in Vietnam.
In order to further tap jointwork between the Mekong countries and India, they adopted the MGC action planfor the 2019 – 2022 period, which features new cooperation areas such as waterresources management, science-technology, capacity improvement and skills development.
They vowed to continuepartnership in agriculture, aquaculture, health care, trade, culture andtourism.
The meeting welcomed Indiabecoming a development partner of the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS).
The ministers also adopted ajoint statement at the end of the meeting and agreed to hold the 11th MGC Ministerial Meeting in Vietnam in 2020.-VNA