PM calls for sustainable management of Mekong River water

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has called on all Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) member countries to raise the sense of responsibility for managing and using the Mekong River water resources in a sustainable manner while preserving good values of the river.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made a speech at the fifth GMS Summit that opened in Bangkok, Thailand. (Source:VNA)

The Prime Minister was speaking at the fifth GMS Summit that opened in Bangkok, Thailand on December 20.

He affirmed that over the past nearly two decades, the sub-regional cooperation has reaped significant achievements, contributing to the socio-economic development of the member countries as well as their efforts in reducing poverty and raising people’s living standards.

The Vietnamese leader cited Vietnam’s successful implementation of many important infrastructure projects such as the Hanoi-Lao Cai Highway - part of the North-South Economic Corridor, the southern coastal corridor linking Ca Mau with Kien Giang province and a network of roads and bridges connecting Mekong Delta localities.

He stressed that the rapid changes of the regional and world economies, plus non-traditional challenges, require a more comprehensive and flexible approach to the sub-regional cooperation.

A GMS of prosperity, connectivity and harmony will only be achieved if the 3C strategy of connectivity, competitiveness and community is included in the overall goal of sustainable and comprehensive development of the sub-region, he said.

He added that the sub-regional cooperation should effectively support Mekong countries in transforming growth model and seeking solutions to common challenges.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung underlined the need to ensure the balance of economy, human and environment in the GMS cooperation, explaining that the environmental degradation may ruin economic and human development achievements and vice versa, sound socio-economic policies will help preserve and promote natural potential serving human development.

According to him, the GMS is facing a host of major challenges regarding environment, food, water resources and energy security, climate change and natural disasters.

Therefore, it is necessary for the sub-region to accelerate projects on environment and human development while paying more heed to assisting the member countries in accessing green growth model, restoring cooperation, and sharing experience in managing urban, rural and fresh water.

Along with the Mekong River Commission, the GMS cooperation, the only mechanism with the participation of all countries along the Mekong River, may play an important role in helping the member countries improve their capacity and closely coordinate with each other in the sustainable management and use of the river’s water resources.

The Vietnamese leader also highlighted the need for the GMS to enhance pragmatic dialogues among its members in both opportunities and challenges as well as similarities and differences s in order to raise the efficiency of cooperation in the time ahead. 

He suggested the GMS countries establish an open cooperation mechanism to take advantage of development partners and mobilise more sources for sub-regional projects.

Apart from cooperation among Governments, the business circle and youth should actively engage in the GMS cooperation, he said.

At the opening ceremony, Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha reviewed important outcomes in the implementation of the GMS cooperation mechanisms through concrete projects, especially in transport infrastructure development, which, he said, have created breakthroughs in transport connectivity and boosted trade and people-to-people exchange.

The summit also saw the attendance of the Lao, Cambodian and Chinese Prime Ministers, the Myanmar President and the President of the Asian Development Bank.

Participants discussed a range of issues, including ways to realise the GMS’s future vision.

Source: VNA

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