Vietnam is willing to cooperate with countries and exchange experiences in water resource management and coping with natural disasters.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan made the affirmation during the plenary session of the second Asia-Pacific Water Summit (APWS) in Chiang Mai , Thailand on May 20.

Nhan said Vietnam , like other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, is facing great challenges in water security and natural disasters in the context of global climate change.

Natural disasters have claimed around 400 lives in Vietnam and caused damage equal to 1.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product ( GDP ) each year over the past decade.

In efforts to cope with the challenges, Vietnam has promulgated and implemented strategies on water security and water-related disaster prevention, he said.

The Deputy Prime Minister called for ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of International Water Resources Utilisation, strengthened cooperation and experience sharing in water resource management and exploitation, and a regional common strategy on water resource management towards a sustainable development goal.

He affirmed that Vietnam attaches importance to and has been proactively cooperating in water resource management with countries it shares rivers, especially the Mekong River .

Participants reached consensus on the need to work out an action plan in the context of increasing challenges posed by floods in Asia-Pacific - the region most affected by natural disasters in the world.

The summit issued the Chiang Mai declaration , indicating regional leaders’ interest in and commitment to the problem.

On the sidelines of the summit, Deputy PM Nhan paid a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The two sides affirmed to further reinforce cooperation towards the establishment of a strategic partnership between the two countries, scheduled for this year.-VNA