(KPL) The Mekong-Lancang Countries Ministers have reaffirmed the need for further enhancing regional connectivity through jointly promote the MLC Economic Development Belt and to explore the possibility in synergizing the MLC Plan of Action on Connectivity with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The statement was made at the 5th Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting under theme “Enhancing Partnership for Shared Prosperity” in Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR on Thursday, Feb 20.

The meeting was co-chaired by Laos’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith, and China’s State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi.

At the meeting, ministers reviewed the implementation of the MLC Five-Year Plan of Action 2018-2022 and over 300 concrete projects under the LMC Special Fund which have already yielded tangible benefits to the region.

The ministers noted the substantive progress made since the 2nd MLC Leaders’ Meeting and the 4th MLC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, especially in implementing projects and programmes under the 45 Early Harvest Projects and 270 LMC Special Fund projects (appropriate 80 million US dollar) which have generated tangible benefits to the people in the Mekong region.

Ministers of the Mekong countries endorsed the List of new Projects to be supported by the LMC Special Fund for 2020 announced by China and praised China for providing continued assistance and support responding to the real needs of the people in the Mekong region.

On future cooperation, the ministers agreed to promote greater cooperation for mutual benefit including strengthening cooperation in the 3 pillars including Political and Security Issues; Economic and Sustainable Development; Social Cultural and People-to-people Exchanges and priority areas ( Connectivity; Cross border Economic Cooperation;  Production Capacity; Water Resource; Agriculture and Poverty Reduction) as well as expanding cooperation into new potential areas with the aim of enhancing cooperation for shared future of peace and prosperity in the Mekong region.