The 24th GMS Ministerial Conference (MC-24) was held on 4 November 2020 with the theme “Pave the way to a more integrated, inclusive, sustainable and prosperous GMS.”
Japan and Mekong countries convened the 12th Mekong-Japan Summit on 13 November, cochaired by Japan Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The meeting underscored Japan’s strong commitment to the Mekong subregion and reviewed progress of cooperation between Japan and Mekong countries (Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic [PDR], Thailand, Myanmar, and Viet Nam) as guided by the "Tokyo Strategy 2018." The Strategy seeks to strengthen connectivity, improve human resource development, and enhance environmental protection.
The 10th Mekong-Republic of Korea (RoK) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held on 28 September online, with the participation of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the RoK. The meeting highlighted achievements in cooperation on infrastructure, information technology, education, agriculture, environmental protection, and water resources management, and adopted the action plan for 2021-2025.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $100 million loan to clean up water resources and the environment of the Sayu River Basin in Yunnan Province, the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The Sayu River Basin is an important area for ecological protection in the upper Yangtze River Basin. It is the only centralized drinking water source in Zhaotong City in Yunnan.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved over $29 million in financing to help the Government of Cambodia improve service delivery through key reforms in public financial management and decentralization, especially in rural areas, where most of the country’s poor live.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is assisting the Government of Thailand in designing, issuing, and monitoring innovative capital market initiatives as part of the country’s recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in a manner aligned with the 2015 Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
A GMS Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) was held on 11 September 2020 via web-based conferencing to review (i) proposed key GMS strategic planning documents and knowledge products, which includes GMS COVID-19 response initiatives and the new long-term strategy for the GMS program, and (ii) preparations for upcoming GMS events—the 11th Economic Corridors Forum (ECF-11), the 24th GMS Ministerial Conference (MC-24), and the 7th GMS Summit (Summit-7).
2020 began with Thailand implementing a ban on single-use plastic with the aim of reducing plastic waste by 30% this year.
The ASEAN Forum on Subregional Development discussed measures to link Mekong subregional cooperation programs with the ASEAN and other subregional groupings to achieve the common goal of narrowing development gaps and to build a stronger ASEAN community. The forum tackled solutions to promote coordination and connectivity among economic corridors in the region. Countries and involved parties were enjoined to work together on policies and mechanisms to address border gate issues.