Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the first Mekong - Republic of Korea (RoK) Summit in the RoK city of Busan on November 27.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the first Mekong - Republic of Korea (RoK) Summit in the RoK city of Busan on November 27. Attending the event were leaders of the RoK, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. It was the first time since the establishment of the Mekong - RoK partnership eight years ago that leaders of the six countries sat down to discuss the future of their partnership under the theme "Future Mekong-RoK cooperation for mutual prosperity".The meeting reviewed cooperation between Mekong countries and the RoK over the past nearly one decade, including achievements in narrowing development gap, strengthening regional connectivity, and building the ASEAN Community. Speaking at the event, PM Phuc laid emphasis on three main goals of the Mekong - RoK cooperation which are strengthening regional peace environment, people-centred and innovation-fueled economic development, and economic growth in tandem with environmental protection and conservation of natural resources. He highlighted the need to develop transport and information technology infrastructure, a quality workforce via improving education - training quality and enhancing science-technology collaboration, and step up green growth and water resources management. Leaders of Mekong countries spoke highly of the RoK's support for the Mekong region and welcomed the RoK's commitment to increasing official development assistance to ASEAN and annual financial contribution to the Mekong - RoK Cooperation Fund. On orientations of their future cooperation, they agreed to establish the Mekong-RoK people-centred partnership for prosperity and peace, and lift bilateral cooperation to the summit level. The cooperation will be based on three pillars of people, prosperity and peace, with seven priority fields of culture and tourism, human resources development, agriculture and rural development, infrastructure, information technology and communications, environment, and non-traditional challenges. The leaders agreed to set up the Mekong - RoK Biodiversity Centre and the Mekong - RoK Joint Research Centre on Mekong River Water Resources Management to promote natural resources preservation and sustainable development in Mekong River basin. The year 2021 was also designated as Mekong - RoK Exchange Year to celebrate 10 years of their cooperation. On the occasion, the Mekong - RoK Business Council was also established to promote connectivity among the six countries' enterprises. The Korea Water Resources Corporation, the Mekong River Commission and relevant agencies of Mekong countries also signed a memorandum of understanding on conducting joint research on water resources. At the end of the event, leaders adopted the Mekong-Han River Declarationon Establishing Partnership for People, Prosperity and Peace, and agreed to hold the second Mekong-RoK summit in Vietnam next year.