Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc held a phone conversation to discuss bilateral ties and regional cooperation. Noting that Lao PDR and Viet Nam have managed the COVID-19 pandemic well, they highlighted the need to further facilitate cargo and passenger movement between their countries, and to soon reach consensus on plans to reopen mainland border gates and resume commercial flights.
Japan and Mekong countries convened the 12th Mekong-Japan Summit on 13 November, cochaired by Japan Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The meeting underscored Japan’s strong commitment to the Mekong subregion and reviewed progress of cooperation between Japan and Mekong countries (Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic [PDR], Thailand, Myanmar, and Viet Nam) as guided by the "Tokyo Strategy 2018." The Strategy seeks to strengthen connectivity, improve human resource development, and enhance environmental protection.
Countries of the Mekong subregion and the Republic of Korea (RoK) agreed to raise bilateral relations to a "Strategic Partnership for People, Prosperity, and Peace" at the second Mekong-RoK Summit held on 13 November 2020, which was chaired by RoK President Moon Jae-in and Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
The meeting noted the reinforced cooperation in public health amid the pandemic, and hailed recovery of trading volumes between the RoK and the Mekong subregion to 2019 level.
The Regional Investment Framework 2022 (RIF 2022) is the medium-term pipeline of priority projects in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). It is a consolidation and expansion of the earlier Regional Investment Framework 2013–2022 and the Revised Regional Investment Framework Implementation Plan 2014–2020. It continues to operationalize the strategic thrusts and priorities of the GMS Program under the GMS Strategic Framework 2012–2022 and the Hanoi Action Plan 2018–2022, which reviewed and refined these strategies.
The General Office of the People's Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China released a “Three Year Action Plan for Guangxi to Accelerate the Development of Xianghai Economy and Promote the Construction of a Strong Ocean Region (2020-2022)” on 29 September. The Action Plan proposes the (i) development of large-scale, intensive, and sustainable offshore wind power resources, and (ii) construction of an offshore wind industrial value chain, with offshore wind industry clusters and industrial parks.
The Government of Cambodia’s Council of Ministers approved two 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission line investment projects in (i) Phnom Penh to the Cambodia-Lao PDR border, and (ii) Battambang to the Cambodia-Thailand border, to prepare to import electricity from its neighbors. The Government of Cambodia is working on increasing the country’s electricity capacity to improve production and competitiveness.
Thailand’s Ministry of Transport is scheduled to complete the 6th Thai-Lao friendship bridge by 2025, according to Mr. Saksayam Chidchob, Thailand Minister of Transport. This new bridge promises to further enhance border trade and promote tourism between Thailand and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR).
The Chinnakorn Civil Public Company of Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Planning and Investment of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) to conduct a feasibility study for a new railway line in southern Lao PDR. Mr. Vanhxay Inthalaseth, President of the Chinnakorn Civil Public Company and Ms. Khamchanh Vongsengboun, Lao PDR Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, conducted the signing on 16 October 2020. The project is expected to promote socio-economic development along areas on the railway route.
The 24th GMS Ministerial Conference (MC-24) was held on 4 November 2020 with the theme “Pave the way to a more integrated, inclusive, sustainable and prosperous GMS.”
The 11th Economic Corridors Forum (ECF-11) was held on 28 October 2020 with the theme “Boosting Competitiveness, Connectivity, and Community in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Corridors through Focused and Integrated Spatial Development.”