Connecting South and Southeast Asia through Improved East-West Linkages

This report, completed by the U.S. Department of Transportation and funded by the U.S. Department of State working together under the Mekong-U.S. Partnership, presents the preliminary findings of an initiative to promote and expand intra-regional and east-west connectivity between the Mekong countries and South Asia.  It provides a framework for engaging with regional stakeholders to…

Keynote Address for the Mekong-U.S. Partnership Track 1.5 Dialogue on Infrastructure and Energy

EAP Assistant Secretary Kritenbrink’s Keynote Address for the Mekong-U.S. Partnership Track 1.5 Dialogue on Infrastructure and Energy Good morning and good evening, everyone.  It is an honor to speak to so many distinguished guests, YSEALI participants, innovators, leaders, and policy makers from across the region.  It is a region I am passionate about, having recently…

Mekong-U.S. Partnership Pathfinder Health Program (2022-Present)

A non-traditional security focused flagship initiative, the Pathfinder Health Program helps Mekong sub-regional health authorities identify and respond to future emerging infectious diseases.  After working with U.S. government experts to develop action plans, Pathfinder fellows will receive funds for pilot research programs to help communities prevent disease emergence and spread.  The Pathfinder program complements long-standing…

United States, South Korea, and Mekong River Commission Partnership Launches

Senior officials from the United States, Republic of Korea, and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) launched cooperation on July 20 on water data utilization and capacity building for the Mekong region. The partnership will see specialists and scientists from Korea Water Resources Corporation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and NASA provide at least six training events to professionals from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam on various decision-support system topics, including modelling, water data utilization and knowledge transfer.

Mekong Heroes: Vietnam

Meet Ngoc Tuyet, a first-generation engineering student at Can Tho University and a participant in USAID’s Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) Program. As a first-generation student and woman in a male-dominated field, Tuyet tells viewers about her motivation behind pursuing a STEM degree and discusses how her participation in EPICS has positively shaped her life and professional aspirations. Subtitled versions available for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.

Mekong Regional Seed Program Resumes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in partnership with American Seed Trade and Asia and Pacific Seed Associations, held the Lower Mekong Regional Seed Workshop, June 8-10, 2021. The “Strengthening Sustainable Seed System for the Lower Mekong Countries” workshop was conducted by the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) with technical expertise from USDA Agriculture Marketing Service. Over 70 high-ranking country representatives from the Public Seed Offices of, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia along with senior representatives from international seed organizations including OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), ISTA (International Seed Testing Association), and UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants) participated. Key representatives provided updates on progress and challenges in seed trade in their countries focusing on capacities, and rules-and science-based policy environments with aim to foster cooperation and harmonization of seed policies among Lower Mekong Countries (LMCs), consistent with practices and approaches in the United States.

Learning to Manage Groundwater Data in Thailand

A professional cohort of geologists and planners from Thailand’s Department of Groundwater Resources (DGR) has learned new skills for managing groundwater data, through a custom-designed training course led by the US Geological Survey (USGS).  Thai farmers and poor household in some of the driest parts of the country rely on groundwater for drinking and irrigation,…

United States Hosts Vietnam Webinar Series Towards Modernizing Vietnam’s Power Sector

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Energy Resources’ (ENR) Power Sector Program (PSP), in partnership with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), provided three webinars to the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV). These webinars focused on enhancing ERAV’s regulatory capacity to oversee power market reforms and grid modernization to advance the goals of the Japan-U.S.-Mekong Power Partnership (JUMPP), Mekong-U.S. Partnership (MUSP), and the Asia Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy Initiative (Asia EDGE).

“Towards a Resilient and Connected Mekong:” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Atul Keshap’s Remarks at the 2021 Friends of the Mekong Policy Dialogue

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Keshap provided opening remarks at the 2021 Friends of the Mekong Policy Dialogue on January 12, 2021.

United States and Vietnam Convene 17 Friends of the Mekong in Support of a Secure, Prosperous, and Open Mekong Region

On January 12, the United States and Vietnam co-hosted the first Friends of the Mekong Policy Dialogue under the new Mekong-U.S. Partnership. In his remarks, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Ambassador Atul Keshap emphasized that the United States is committed to a secure, open, and prosperous Mekong region, highlighting the importance of this region to ASEAN centrality and to the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. The 17 participating countries and institutions under the Mekong-U.S. Partnership and the Friends of the Mekong offered recommendations on sustainable infrastructure development and connectivity; human resource development and building the foundations for a Mekong digital economy; sustainable water, natural resource management, and environmental protection; and COVID response and regional collaboration on health security.

Message from our Ambassadors

Now more than ever, the United States sees the importance of a partnership with the Mekong Region. Perhaps the best example of that is the new Mekong-U.S. Partnership, which was launched in 2020 as a successor to the Lower Mekong Initiative. This partnership – with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the ASEAN Secretariat – aims to improve lives in the Mekong Region by spurring economic growth, improving natural resource management, and tackling transnational crime. “We are open to working with all partners who shared our principled, transparent approach,” said Melissa A. Brown, Head of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN. Watch this video to learn more:

LMI Annual Scientific Symposium

Yangon, Myanmar, December 12-13, 2019. Over 100 researchers and scientists from the U.S. and the five countries of the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) – Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam – gathered for the LMI Young Scientist Program annual symposium in Yangon December 12-13. Forty young scientists from the five Lower Mekong countries presented their…