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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Migrant workers are returning to Southeast Asia in large numbers as governments grapple with how best to keep them employed. Photo: Ina Carolino

COVID-19 is Sending Millions of Overseas Workers Back Into Southeast Asia’s Rural Areas

With the right policies, enough jobs can be created to employ returning workers and creating the opportunity for a new era in agricultural entrepreneurship in the region.

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COVID-19 equipment donated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to to Viet Nam. Photo: IAEA Imagebank (CC BY 2.0)

How Universal Health Coverage in Thailand and Viet Nam Helped Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19

Strong commitments toward achieving universal health coverage (UHC) made by some developing member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), including Greater Mekong Subregion members Thailand and Viet Nam, prepared these countries to better manage the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.  

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Passengers at the Yangon Myanmar Railway Station in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by ADB.

$30 Million ADB Loan to Scale Up Myanmar’s COVID-19 Health Response

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $30 million loan to boost Myanmar’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, especially in areas with a high minority population but inadequate access to health care and other essential services.

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ADB to Help Improve Water Resources of River Basin in Yunnan, PRC

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $100 million loan to clean up water resources and the environment of the Sayu River Basin in Yunnan Province, the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The Sayu River Basin is an important area for ecological protection in the upper Yangtze River Basin. It is the only centralized drinking water source in Zhaotong City in Yunnan.

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