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Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Celebrates 6th Anniversary

PHNOM PENH: The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prak Sokhonn has released his message on the auspicious occasion of the 6th Anniversary of the Mekong-LancangCooperation (MLC), on behalf of the Royal Government and People of Cambodia, he has stated that he is delighted to extend his warm wishes to the people of the Mekong-Lancang countries for their good health, happiness and prosperity. DPM has also mentioned that he is honored to share his message to the annual “MLC Week 2022.”

Sokhonn has mentioned that he has recognized the growing importance of the MekongLancang region as a “growth pole” in the dynamic Asia Pacific region, and he has lauded its geostrategic significance, economic weight, and enormous market potentials.

He has also mentioned the close collaboration and solidarity over the past six years have enabled the

MLC to sustain the development momentum, reinforce our economic complementarity and strengthen the people and cultural links, which are all the fundamental elements to build a more open, inclusive and sustainable community of shared future of peace and prosperity.

And he has also announced that they have just concluded successfully the Plan of Action (2018-2022) and they are prime to work on the next phase of cooperation with focus on a people-orienteddevelopment agenda. And to secure the new sources of growth amidst the rapidly evolving global and regional economic conditions, Sokhonn says he looks forward to the realization of the Mekong-Lancang Economic Development Belt and the New International LandSea Trade Corridor to further boost and deepen their regional integration efforts.

The DPM has said that MLC is mindful that the developmental needs will place a strain on natural resources and so the Kingdow with MLC will combine joint efforts to cooperate on the sustainable management of our water resources and on the management of our flood, droughtand other extreme weather events.

Lastly, Sokhonn has mentioned that he was pleased to see the complementarities of the MLC with other Mekong subregional mechanisms, in particular the ACMECS and Greater Mekong Sub-region(GMS), to drive to the sub-regional transformation and our ASEAN community building efforts. Through the MLC Special Fund, Cambodia has benefited from 67 projects amounting to more than 20 million USD that support a broad range of Final 2 cooperation activities in the field of rural development, poverty alleviation, water resources, agriculture, air connectivity, education, cultural heritage preservation, aswell as women empowerment, among many others.

Against the backdrop of a COVID-19 pandemic and global health crisis, Cambodia values China’s commitment through the establishment of the Mekong-Lancang Public Health Community and its leading role in providing medicines, medical supplies and millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines in a timely manner to the Mekong countries.

Such contribution, in particular to Cambodia, have led to the success of its national vaccination campaign where the Kingdom could secure a vaccination coverage rate of over 92 percent and reopen the country to the rest of the world. These accomplishments, among others, are strong testimonial of the efficacy and relevance of the MLC framework.

As Cambodia holds the ASEAN Chairmanship this year, the MLC mechanism will certainly contribute its strong development component to ensure that ASEAN willcontinue to thrive in the true spirit of a Community of Shared Future.

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