HO CHI MINH CITY – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US Department of State jointly hosted the fourth Regional Working Group Meeting of the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) in Ho Chi Minh City on April 25.
As many as 90 officials from the US, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam attended the event.
The meeting aimed at reviewing the implementation of LMI programs since the previous meeting; seeking ways to improve LMI’s role in the Mekong region and Southeast Asia; and preparing for the 6 th LMI Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Brunei in June.
Six panel discussions will take place, focusing on the six key cooperation areas which are the environment and water, health care, education, connectivity, agriculture-food security, and energy security.
Two other sessions will examine closer coordination and information exchange amongst LMI member states.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son stressed that Vietnam attaches much importance to LMI for the potentials and effects it can bring.
The achievements LMI has gained so far are very encouraging, contributing to strengthening the initiative’s position in the cooperation structure in Mekong region and creating a firm base for future success, Son noted.
The same day, a workshop on the public-private partnership (PPP) model was held on the sidelines of the meeting.
According to Deputy Minister Son, the PPP model is considered a potential means for LMI members to mobilize all resources for the achievement of their objectives of sustainable development.
He said the workshop was held to equip the delegates with essential skills to build and implement PPP projects, share international experience in the area, both successful and unsuccessful ones.
The LMI cooperation mechanism was established in 2009, and since then five ministerial-level conferences and three working group meetings have been held. The LMI members are the US , Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (which joined in 2012), Thailand and Vietnam.