Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc holds talks with his Lao PDR Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. Photo by VGP via Nhandan.

Lao PDR Prime Minister, Viet Nam Prime Minister Discuss Reopening Border Gates

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.  

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The 12th Mekong-Japan Summit took place virtually on 13 November as part of the 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. Photo by VNA via VNExplorer.

12th Mekong-Japan Summit Highlights How Cooperation Enhances Connectivity in the Subregion

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.

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The second Mekong-RoK Summit was held online on 13 November. Photo by VNA via Viet Nam Plus.

Mekong Countries, Republic of Korea Upgrade Relations to Strategic Partnership

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.  

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Greater Mekong Subregion Regional Investment Framework 2022

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.


Guangxi Province Releases Action Plan to Promote Marine Economy

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.

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Cambodia Approves Two 500 kV Transmission Line Projects

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.

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Feasibility Study Planned for New Railway Line in Lao 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.

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