Press Release : 8th Mekong – Ganga Cooperation Ministerial Meeting news3

Press Release : 8th Mekong – Ganga Cooperation Ministerial Meeting

On 7 August 2017, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand attended the 8th Mekong – Ganga Ministerial Meeting in Manila, Philippines, with H.E. H.E. U Kyaw Tin, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Republic Union of Myanmar, and Mr. Vijay Kumar Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs of India, as Co-Chairs of the Meeting. Other Foreign Ministers and representatives of the Mekong countries also attended the meeting.
The Foreign Ministers of the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) reviewed the cooperation and future direction of MGC as well as adopted the 8th Joint Ministerial Statement. The Foreign Ministers thanked India for their active engagement with the sub-region and welcomed the theme “Build Better Connectivity for Sustainable Development” as proposed by India. The Foreign Ministers commended India for holding the Policy Dialogue on connectivity as an important step involving Public – Private Partnership (PPP). On this occasion, India also proposed to host the first Connectivity Summit in the last trimester of this year in India. The Minister of State for External Affairs of India also expressed her determination to use the MGC platform to promote financial stability in the region. 
During the meeting, Thailand accepted her Chairmanship which was handed over by Myanmar and highlighted three main issues. First, Thailand emphasised the role of PPP in building seamless multi-modal connectivity. Second, Thailand extended its invitation for members to participate in the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Working Group for Sustainable Development in August 2017. Lastly, Thailand encouraged the members of the meeting to complete all pending infrastructure projects both on land and the maritime front to act as the main tools in tapping into the region’s substantial potential in trade.
The MGC was initiated in July 2000 in Bangkok with the objective of promoting economic cooperation and connectivity in the Mekong sub-region. The MGC has 6 members, namely, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Viet Nam, Myanmar, and India. The cooperation framework has 7 areas of cooperation, tourism, culture, education, transport, health, agriculture, and the development of MSMEs.