The 12th Mekong-Japan Summit took place virtually on 13 November as part of the 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. Photo by VNA via VNExplorer.

12th Mekong-Japan Summit Highlights How Cooperation Enhances Connectivity in the Subregion

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.

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The second Mekong-RoK Summit was held online on 13 November. Photo by VNA via Viet Nam Plus.

Mekong Countries, Republic of Korea Upgrade Relations to Strategic Partnership

Countries of the Mekong subregion and the Republic of Korea (RoK) agreed to raise bilateral relations to a "Strategic Partnership for People, Prosperity, and Peace" at the second Mekong-RoK Summit held on 13 November 2020, which was chaired by RoK President Moon Jae-in and Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.  

The meeting noted the reinforced cooperation in public health amid the pandemic, and hailed recovery of trading volumes between the RoK and the Mekong subregion to 2019 level.  

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Migrant workers are returning to Southeast Asia in large numbers as governments grapple with how best to keep them employed. Photo: Ina Carolino

COVID-19 is Sending Millions of Overseas Workers Back Into Southeast Asia’s Rural Areas

With the right policies, enough jobs can be created to employ returning workers and creating the opportunity for a new era in agricultural entrepreneurship in the region.

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