Mekong-US Partnership Launched
GMS in the News
The Governments of Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam, and the United States of America (US), launched the Mekong-US Partnership and held its first Ministerial Meeting on 11 September 2020. The partnership builds on the US-Mekong cooperation developed through the Lower Mekong Initiative. It aims to continue to boost transparency and good governance, and strengthen connectivity, economic integration, inclusive and sustainable development, and help narrow the development gap in the region.
The new partnership further broadens and deepens cooperation to allow for flexibility in addressing emerging issues.They pledged to expand cooperation on (i) economic connectivity; (ii) sustainable water, natural resources management, and environmental conservation and protection; (iii) non-traditional security, including health security and pandemic response; and (iv) human resource development.
US Commits $6 Million to Advance Shared Interests
In addition, the US committed $6 million for new initiatives that will advance shared interests in the Mekong region, including building on the US International Development Finance Corporation’s $1 billion investment in infrastructure in Southeast Asia, and organizing a policy dialogue series on developing opportunities and challenges in the Mekong region.
Furthermore, the US, through the 2020 Japan-US-Mekong Power Partnership, will provide technical and advisory support to strengthen national and regional power market development, guided by Mekong government priorities.
The Mekong-US Partnership also welcomed initiatives to promote synergies and complementarities between the work of ASEAN and subregional cooperation frameworks in the region.
Ministers present at the launch were Mr. Prak Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia; Mr. Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR; Mr. Kyaw Tin, Union Minister for International Cooperation of Myanmar; Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand; Mr. Stephen Biegun, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State representing Mr. Michael Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State; and Mr. Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam. Mr. Dato Lim Jock Hoi, ASEAN Secretary-General was also present as a guest.
Read the full Joint Statement.