The 8th Mekong–RoK Business Forum was held in-person in Hanoi, Viet Nam, and online. Photo by TTXVN via Viet Nam Plus.

Mekong–Republic of Korea Business Forum Facilitates Trade Partnership

The 8th Mekong–Republic of Korea (RoK) Business Forum acknowledged how the RoK and the Mekong countries sustained their trade to 2019 levels amid the pandemic by upholding their trade relations. The Forum was held on 4 December in-person in Hanoi, Viet Nam, and online. 

GMS in the News

Officials view trolley robots donated by the Ministry of Education while smaller photo shows a drone with a loud speaker. Photo: Eleven Myanmar

Myanmar Universities Invent Robots that Reduce Contact between Health Workers and COVID-19 Patients

Robots are helping keep medical workers in Myanmar safer and lowering the risk of further spreading the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by reducing contact with COVID-19 and COVID-19-suspected patients.  

GMS in the News

Top row, left to right: Dr. Danucha Pichayanan, Deputy Secretary General, Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (Thailand); Mr. Liu Weihua, Deputy Director General, Department of International Economic and Financial Cooperation, Ministry of Finance (PRC); Mr. Alfredo Perdiguero, Director, SERC, ADB. Middle row: Mr. Than Aung Kyaw, Director General, FERD, Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations (Myanmar). Bottom row, left to right: Ms. Sisomboun Ounavong, Director General, Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Planning and Investment (Lao PDR); Dr. Pham Hoang Mai, Director General, Foreign Economic Relations Department, Ministry of Planning and Investment (Viet Nam); and H.E. Mr. Ros Seilava, Secretary of State, Ministry of Economy and Finance (Cambodia) 

GMS Senior Officials’ Meeting Reviews COVID-19 Response Initiatives and Prepares for Upcoming Events

A GMS Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) was held on 11 September 2020 via web-based conferencing to review (i) proposed key GMS strategic planning documents and knowledge products, which includes GMS COVID-19 response initiatives and the new long-term strategy for the GMS program, and (ii) preparations for upcoming GMS events—the 11th Economic Corridors Forum (ECF-11), the 24th GMS Ministerial Conference (MC-24), and the 7th GMS Summit (Summit-7).  

Events

The 9th ACMECS Summit Declaration emphasized post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and preparation for future crises. Photo by OCM.

9th ACMECS Summit Declaration Focuses on Post-pandemic Recovery

Leaders of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam adopted the Phnom Penh declaration at the 9th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Summit held on 9 December. The declaration emphasizes post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and preparation for future crises and challenges through public health cooperation and enhanced supply chains. ACMECS leaders stressed the importance of vaccine multilateralism to ensure equitable and safe access to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines. 

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A 24/7 automatic dispensing machine provides free rice for people out of work following the lockdown. This was spearheaded by a Vietnamese entrepreneur in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Reuters on Twitter.

Initiative Gathers Mekong Innovations Spurred by the COVID-19 Pandemic

An initiative by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), Destination Mekong, and the Mekong Institute (MI) taps individuals' help in crowdsourcing newly-spotted innovations on how the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is being managed and/or overcome in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

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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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The Joint Declaration adopted at the 11th CLV Summit provides a foundation for the socio-economic development plan until 2030. Photo by VNA.

11th CLV Summit Commits to Strengthen Development Triangle Area

Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam (CLV) Leaders expressed their firm commitment to strengthen the CLV Development Triangle Area (DTA) in order to accelerate economic growth, alleviate poverty, and promote socio-cultural progress in the subregion. At the 11th CLV Summit held online on 9 December, they adopted a Joint Declaration that provides a foundation for the subregion’s socio-economic development plan until 2030 and the Tourism Development Plan. They also adopted the Development Plan for Sustainable Rubber Industry.  

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A frontline healthworker at the Thailand Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute, Ministry of Public Health. Photo by UN Women Asia and the Pacific.

Building Pandemic Preparedness in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Myanmar and Viet Nam, CLMV countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), have experienced a relatively smaller number of reported cases and fatalities of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As of 22 June, Cambodia reported 129 confirmed cases, Lao PDR reported 19 confirmed cases, and Viet Nam reported 349 confirmed cases. All three countries recorded 0 deaths from COVID-19. In Myanmar, while there have been 6 deaths, only 286 confirmed cases were reported.

 

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