Mekong countries, RoK step up cooperation hinh anh 1Delegates to the seventh Mekong-RoK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (Source:
Seoul (VNA) –Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc has affirmed that Vietnam attaches importance to cooperation between Mekong countries and the Republic of Korea (RoK) while addressing the seventh Mekong-RoK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in the RoK.

He also made proposals to raise the efficiency of cooperation and boost development in the Mekong region.

It is necessary to develop the transport network, especially cross-border economic corridors, in order to turn the Mekong region into a bridge between the Pacific and the Indian Ocean, and a gateway to major markets in Asia, Ngoc said.

The Deputy Minister called for help for Mekong countries to develop sustainable, smart agriculture, and become an indispensable link in the regional and global value chain.

Mekong countries should be assisted to ensure the balance between economic development and environmental protection, and manage water resources sustainably, he said.

He underlined the need to improve labour quality and research capacity for industrialisation, while making use of opportunities generated by the fourth industrial revolution.

On this occasion, Ngoc reiterated Vietnam’s stance on issues regarding the East Sea, the Korean Peninsula and non-traditional security challenges.

The seventh Mekong-RoK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which took place in Busan city, the RoK, on September 1, was chaired by Foreign Ministers of the RoK and Laos, with the participation of representatives from Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

At the meeting, delegates reviewed the Mekong-RoK Action Plan during 2014-2017 and discussed cooperation plans for the next four years.

They agreed to work together in building modern, smart and ecologically-balanced infrastructure, increasing connectivity between the Mekong countries through roads, railways, seaports, airports, and exclusive economic zone and cross-border economic corridor projects.

The countries will also join hands in improving capacity to apply information and communication technology in transport infrastructure construction, water resources management, climate change response and e-commerce, contributing to narrowing technological gaps in ASEAN.

They also decided to promote green growth through projects on climate change combat, forestation, bio-diversity protection and gas emission impact mitigation.

At the same time, the countries will step up cooperation in the sustainable use of Mekong River water resources and other natural resources, and coordinate with the Mekong River Commission and other international organisations in this regard.

They will intensify collaboration in agriculture and rural development via the exchange of experience and technologies, help Mekong countries integrate into the global agricultural value chain, and implement more training programmes for labourers.

At the end of the meeting, the ministers adopted a statement and the Mekong-RoK Action Plan for 2017-2020, and agreed to hold the eighth meeting on the sidelines of the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore in 2018.

In the co-chair statement, the ministers reiterated the significance of maintaining peace, security, stability, navigation and aviation safety and freedom in the East Sea in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

They said a peaceful and stable regional environment is essential for common prosperity in Mekong countries and the RoK.

They stressed the need to enhance mutual trust, exercise self-restraint and avoid actions that can complicate the situation, and handle disputes peacefully.

The same day, the ASEAN Culture House, a symbol of cultural links between ASEAN and the RoK, was inaugurated in Busan.-VNA