Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh attended the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in New Delhi on September 3 as part of the 6 th Mekong – Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Meeting from September 3-4.

Present were diplomats from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, India, Thailand and Vietnam.

They reviewed existing cooperation between MGC countries and the outcomes of decisions made at the previous meeting as well as discussed future plans to improve cooperative mechanisms so as to advance regional cooperation.

India suggested looking back at the plans to build a museum of traditional Asian textiles in Siem Reap in Cambodia and efforts being made to preserve world heritage sites in MGC countries. Later they debated the construction of a highway to connect India with Myanmar and Thailand and the awarding of 50 scholarships from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

Also considered was the formation of a working party to conduct health research and another to focus on increased cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises.

They also agreed to speed up English language projects, develop business communities and establish more vocational training programmes. A higher level of cooperation in bio-diversity and production and plans to set up a common resources archive at Nalanda University in the Indian state of Bihar were also put forward.

First established on November 10, 2000, in Vientiane, Laos, the MGC aims to set out a vision for cooperation between India and the five Mekong countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Four priority areas of cooperation already exist between MGC member countries, covering tourism, education, human resource development and transport.-VNA