Vietnamese Deputy PM lauds Lower Mekong Initiative

VOV.VN -Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has highlighted the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) as one of the leading sub-regional mechanisms that facilitate sustainable and inclusive development.

Minh led a Vietnamese delegation to the 11th Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) Ministerial Meeting in Singapore on August 3, at which he hailed the achievements in cooperation projects on infrastructure, training, connectivity and businesses, as well as the US support for Mekong countries and LMI cooperation over the past nine years. 

To further step up the LMI collaboration, Minh suggested the US should increase its sharing of experience with Mekong countries in training skilled workforce and development research and
called for stronger cooperation to boost agricultural output, improve the agriculture sector’s capacity of coping with climate change and expanding farm produce markets. 

Greater attention should be given to water resource security, energy and food, especially in disaster risk mitigation, environmental protection and biodiversity. Under the LMI, Mekong countries need to promote its capacity of sustainably managing trans-border water resources, adopt new technologies to assess projects’ impacts on the environment, and build an early forecasting system for droughts and floods, he said.

At the meeting, the Foreign Ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the US described the LMI cooperation as the important driving force behind connectivity, economic integration, sustainable development and good governance in the Mekong sub-region. 

They applauded the LMI’s comprehensive approach to ensuring security of water resources, food, energy and environmental challenges, as well as the outcomes of sustainable infrastructure partnership initiative and training courses in a multitude of fields. 

The participants agreed upon the reform of LMI structure in the two pillars of water resources, energy, food and environment, and human development and connectivity. Coordination in gender equality, women empowerment and public-private partnership will be incorporated into the LMI’s activities. 

The meeting adopted a joint statement, a document on LMI restructure and a LMI Action Plan for the 2016-2020 period. 

The LMI and Mekong River Commission (MRC) countries approved a joint statement on strengthening management of water resource data and sharing information in the Lower Mekong.