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Mekong-Japan Summit called for cooperation strengthening and conectivity increasing

November 14, 2020 | 08:15

Strengthening cooperation and increasing connectivity were among the decisions taken at the 12th Mekong-Japan Summit held online on November 13, under the chair of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Japanese counterpart Suga Yoshihide, reported VNA.

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Leaders calls for strengthening cooperation and increasing connectivity at Mekong Japan Summit
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs the Mekong - Japan summit on the sidelines of the 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. Photo: VNA

In his opening remarks, PM Phuc said Mekong countries and Japan worked together to overcome the financial crisis in 2008, and boost economic growth over the past decade.

The sides have maintained their close coordination in the COVID-19 fight, he stressed.

Through Mekong-Japan cooperation, hundreds of projects have been rolled out in different spheres, significantly contributing to socio-economic development of the Mekong countries and the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

The leader highlighted the Tokyo Strategy 2018 for Mekong-Japan Cooperation with the three pillars of vibrant and effective connectivity, people-centred society, and the realisation of a Green Mekong.

The strategy has brought about significant changes in high-quality infrastructure, human resources development, and environmental protection in the region, he said.

PM Phuc proposed the countries reinforce their trade and investment ties, as well as collaboration in health care, the sustainable management of Mekong River water resources, and natural disaster and climate change response.

Addressing the summit, PM Suga said Mekong is a centre of Asia-Pacific, recalling his recent visit to Vietnam, during which he pledged to promote peace and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Japan will propose concrete measures for the Mekong region so that we can work together for regional peace and prosperity. By doing so, I am confident that our bonds will become even stronger,” the leader stressed.

Leaders of the Mekong countries lauded the initiatives proposed by PM Suga at the summit, reiterated their efforts in pandemic combat and economic recovery, and agreed on the need to step up connectivity at this time.

They shared the views that economic development should go in tandem with environmental protection, the enhancement of adaptability to climate change, sustainable use and management of Mekong River water resources, digital transformation, and regional supply chain development.

They agreed to convene the 13th Mekong-Japan Summit in Japan in 2021.

Leaders calls for strengthening cooperation and increasing connectivity at Mekong Japan Summit
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the summit. Photo: VNA

During the 12th ASEAN Summit in the Philippines in January 2007, Japan proposed the Japan-Mekong Region Partnership Programme, focusing on three priority areas – integrating economies of the region and beyond, expanding trade and investment between Japan and the region, and pursuing universal values and common goals of the region.

The 11th Mekong – Japan Summit, held in Bangkok in November 2019, adopted the joint statement of the 11th Mekong-Japan Summit and the Mekong-Japan Initiative for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) towards 2030.

The 37th ASEAN Summit and related summits, chaired by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, are running virtually from November 12 to 15. It offers opportunities for ASEAN member nations to comprehensively evaluate the results of intra-bloc cooperation as well as cooperation between the group and its partners, towards setting priorities for the next stage./.

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