On behalf of the State Counsellor, Union Minister for International Cooperation, U Kyaw Tin, participated in the 2nd Mekong-ROK Summit and 12th Mekong-Japan Summit via Videoconference on 13 November 2020 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nay Pyi Taw.
2nd Mekong-ROK Summit
The 2nd Mekong-ROK Summit was co-chaired by Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and Mr Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea (ROK). The leaders and representatives of Mekong countries: Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, also participated in the meeting.
At the meeting, the leaders discussed the progress and future direction of Mekong-ROK Cooperation towards the creation of a people-centred community of peace and prosperity in the region. The meeting agreed to elevate the cooperation to a Strategic Partnership based upon the current three pillars of cooperation: People, Prosperity and Peace. The year 2021 has also been designated as the “Mekong-ROK Exchange Year” in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Mekong-ROK Cooperation.
In the Statement, Union Minister U Kyaw Tin thanked the ROK for not only providing financial and medical supply, but also for sharing information and experience in the fight against COVID-19 in the Mekong countries, including Myanmar. He also suggested that it is of vital importance for the Mekong-ROK Cooperation to ensure affordable, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine for the peoples of the Mekong region, and to emphasize the creation of a resilient environment for pandemic-hit MSMEs and start-ups.
The Union Minister welcomed the announcement of the New Southern Policy Plus (NSPP) by the President Moon Jae-in at the ASEAN-ROK Summit and the elevation of the Mekong-ROK Cooperation to the “Strategic Partnership”. He also welcomed the pledge of ROK to increase ODA to the ASEAN countries, the ROK’s annual contribution of 3 million USD to the Mekong-ROK Cooperation Fund (MKCF) and 1 million USD to the ACMECS-ROK Cooperation. The Union Minister thanked ROK for sharing the experiences of holding ROK’s election during the time of COVID-19, which are found useful in preparation of the recent election in Myanmar.
The meeting adopted the “Joint Statement of the 2nd Mekong-ROK Summit.
12th Mekong-Japan Summit
The 12th Mekong-Japan Summit was co-chaired by Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and Mr Yoshihide Suga, Prime Minister of Japan. The Leaders and representatives from Cambodia, Laos and Thailand have also participated in the Summit.
At the Summit, the leaders exchanged views on the need of solidarity and collective actions to overcome the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19, the progress under the three pillars of Tokyo Strategy 2018 and the way forward for sustainable development of the Mekong region.
At the meeting, the Prime Minister of Japan announced the “Mekong SDG Investment Partnership (SIP)” to further accelerate the formulation of JICA’s overseas loan and investment projects in Mekong countries. The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to accelerate progress in achieving UHC and Integral Strengthening of Economic Relations under the Mekong-Japan Cooperation.
In his statement, the Union Minister appreciated the assistance of Japan, including provisions of Avigan tablets, medical supply and equipment, technical and financial assistance to Myanmar and also to the Mekong countries to combat COVID-19 pandemic. He also thanked Japan’s efforts in strengthening economic relations with Mekong countries. He also appreciated Japan’s initiatives on the recovery of COVID-19 hit regional economy such as the establishment of the “COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan”, formulation of “ASEAN-Japan Economic Resilience Action Plan”, and its support to the “ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases”.
The Union Minister suggested that the mode of cooperation needed to be in line with the New Normal since the restoration of connectivity is a key to the economic recovery, and to strike a balance between restoration of connectivity, health concern and resumption of businesses.
He also thanked Japan for assisting Myanmar in electrical power transmission capacity enhancement project and also for the human resource development of the Mekong countries by various programmes including scholarships and Asia Kakehashi Project.
The meeting adopted the “Joint Statement of the 12th Mekong-Japan Summit”.—MNA