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Laos fosters cooperation with China, Mekong countries

Vientiane Times: December 19, 2017 

Yunnan province, China: — Laos is strengthening cooperation with China and the Mekong countries by supporting the five-year strategic plan from 2018-2023 which was approved at last week’s 3rd Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Foreign Ministers’ meeting.
A Lao delegation attended the meeting held in Dali, southwest China’s Yunnan province, from December 14-16, led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Saleumxay Kommasith.

For lao foster

The meeting was co-chaired by China’s Foreign Minister, Mr Wang Yi and Cambodian Foreign Minister Mr Prak Sokonn. Also present were Myanmar’s Minister for International Cooperation, U Kyaw Tin, Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Don Pramudwinai, and Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Pham Binh Minh.
During his visit, Mr Saleumxay held a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Mr Wang Yi aimed at promoting future cooperation and reviewing the progress made in cooperation between the two countries to date.
Mr Saleumxay said the 3rd LMC meeting reviewed the fruitful results of cooperation over the past three years and approved the five year strategic plan for 2018-2023.
The three Lancang-Mekong Cooperation meetings have been very beneficial in terms of yielding benefits for China and the Mekong countries, especially early harvest projects, he added. Laos had approved 10 projects with assistance from China and they are now in progress.
The 3rd LMC meeting saw an in-depth exchange of views and reached broad consensus on implementing the outcomes of the First LMC Leaders’ Meeting and the Second LMC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
Participants reviewed some of the agreements made as well as early harvest projects such as eye treatment and the China-Laos Poverty Reduction Cooperation Pilot project. Senior foreign affairs officials from the six countries also discussed future developments and preparations for the second LMC Leaders’ Meeting to be held in Cambodia at the beginning of next year.
The meeting approved three important documents on future basic cooperation including the Joint Press Communique of the Third MLC Foreign Minister’s Meeting, various projects supported by the LMC Special Fund of 2017, and the hotline platform of LMC National Secretariats and Coordination Units.
Under the theme of “Shared River, Shared Future”, the participating ministers also discussed the future direction of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Mr Wang Yi said China and other countries along the Mekong River were linked by mountains and rivers and shared a common destiny.
“Through the LMC platform, we can translate our natural collaborative advantages and huge cooperative potential into tangible driving forces and bright prospects for development, so as to forge the LMC regional economic development belt and construct a community with a shared future among the countries along the river. This will promote economic and social development among the subregional countries,” he said.
Foreign affairs officials praised the progress made in key areas including connectivity, industry capacity, cross-border economic cooperation, water resources, agriculture, and poverty reduction.
They agreed that Lancang-Mekong Cooperation had moved from a nurturing period to a period of growth and that all member countries should make a greater effort to advance economic and social development, narrow development gaps, and support Asean community building.
The meeting also agreed to synergise Lancang-Mekong Cooperation through the development strategies of each member country, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the relevant development programmes of Asean.

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