Officials pose for a photo at the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Singapore on August 2 (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Singapore (VNA) – Six countries of the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and India, have agreed to enhance cooperation in managing and sustainably using water resources.

Foreign ministers of the MGC countries reached the consensus at their ninth meeting on August 2 within the framework of the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings in Singapore.

They also agreed to bolster cooperation in agriculture, tourism, culture, transport, businesses, and health care.

Joint activities proposed at the meeting included building a joint data centre at Nalanda University in India, a conference on rice germplasm, training activities, tourism promotion, and MGC trade fairs.

The MGC Ministerial Meeting also recognised India’s wish to cooperate with the Mekong River Commission, particularly in sharing experience in collecting water resources data, and the proposal to organise the first meeting on management and sustainable use of water resources in New Delhi this year.

Addressing the event, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh stressed that the two sides’ cooperation potential remains huge.

He suggested the MGC nations focus their cooperation on enhancing connectivity, especially expanding the East-West Economic Corridor and the Southern Economic Corridor to India and the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, and starting talks on a land transport agreement. 

He also called on them to facilitate trade, cooperate in customs clearance and quarantine, and foster partnership in environmental issues, climate change response, flood and natural disaster management, and management of water resources.

At the end of the meeting, the ministers adopted a joint statement and agreed to hold the 10th MGC Ministerial Meeting in Thailand in 2019. –VNA