Lower Mekong Initiative meeting closes

(VOV) - The fourth Regional Working Group Meeting of the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI), co-hosted by the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US Department of State, concluded in Ho Chi Minh City on April 26.

During the two-day event, participants agreed to strengthen links between LMI and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) to improve the working efficiency of LMI in narrowing the development gap in the region.

They also reached a consensus on building capacity for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), speeding up the regional integration process, establishing a regular dialogue mechanism between permanent representatives of CLMV countries and US representatives in ASEAN to determine fields of potential cooperation.

They concurred to build draft action plans on energy security, agriculture and food security, which will be included in the 2011–2015 LMI Action Plan. The revised plan will be submitted to the sixth LMI Ministerial Meeting scheduled to take place in June in Brunei.

In the near future, LMI’s activities will focus on gender equality and promoting women’s engagement in socio-economic activities.

The meeting agreed upon the implementation of cooperation activities including a seminar on bridge and road management in May in Laos, five regional seminars on public-private partnership in infrastructure development for 2014 and 2015, and the second phase of the English language and communication skills training for CLMV countries’ officials.

A Joint Statement was adopted at the end of the event.

The fifth meeting will convene later this year, ahead of the seventh LMI Ministerial Meeting scheduled for 2014 in Myanmar.