08:15 | 25/03/2016 Cooperation
The first Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) leaders’ meeting is a significant landmark in the cooperation among countries in the sub-Mekong region in general and MLC in particular, according to Assistant to Foreign Minister Vu Quang Minh, head of Vietnam’s delegation to MLC senior officials’ meeting.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (first from left) attends the event (Photo: VNA)
MLC is the cooperation mechanism between six countries sharing the Mekong River, known as Lancang in China, which are Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, China and Vietnam.
Talking to the press following the first MLC leaders’ meeting in China’s Hainan province on March 23, Minh said the MLC establishment is in line with the development trend of the multi-layered cooperation and connectivity in the Mekong region.
The birth of the MLC also affirms the commitment of six member states to cooperate for peace, stability and sustainable development in the Mekong sub-region, he said, noting that this is the first time the involved parties reached consensus on prioritising cooperation in sustainable use and management of water resources in the Mekong River.
He added that the MLC is hoped to help boost the sub-regional socio-economic development, narrow the development gaps in the region and improve local living standards.
As the year 2016 marks the 25 th founding anniversary of ASEAN-China strategic cooperative partnership, the MLC will not only boost sustainable development in the Mekong sub-region but also actively propel the cooperation between ASEAN countries and China forward, he stressed
The diplomat noted that being fully aware of the role and the significance of MLC cooperation to the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) sustainable development and prosperity, Vietnam has actively and proactively participated in the process of establishing this cooperation mechanism.
Before the first MLC leaders’ meeting, Vietnam has made significant contributions at various ministerial-level and SOM meetings, he said, adding that the country’s proposals on principles and mechanisms for the MLC, along with suggestions in cooperation in water resources and economic connectivity, received support from other countries and were confirmed in the Sanya Declaration and relevant MLC documents.
Three projects proposed by Vietnam have been included in the list of Early Harvest Projects adopted by the MLC, which will be implemented in the initial phase of cooperation.
The projects aim to strengthen coordination in coping with floods and droughts in the Mekong-Lancang basin and harmonise standards and procedures among countries in the region.
Minh also highlighted that Vietnam has agreed to coordinate with China to build a joint project establishing a centre on Mekong – Lancang water resources cooperation, and is willing to make financial contribution and send its experts to work at the centre./.