15th Mekong River Commission-Dialogue Partners meeting held

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The 15th Dialogue Meeting between Mekong River Commission (MRC) and its dialogue partners was held here on Friday aimed to further strengthen their cooperation in the management of upper and lower Mekong River Basins.

Representatives from MRC's four member countries, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia, and MRC's dialogue partners China and Myanmar, as well as CEO of MRC Secretariat attended the one-day meeting.

The meeting reviewed and discussed the achievements since the 14th dialogue meeting; expansion of cooperation in data and information sharing; further cooperation in assessing the opportunities and impacts of proposed upstream and downstream hydropower schemes; increased initiatives for joint environmental management; and enhanced navigation between the MRC member states and the two upstream countries.

Chinese delegation head Diao Mingsheng delivered a speech at the meeting. Diao said that MRC is an important mechanism for the cooperation of Mekong subregion. It has played important role in the areas in coordinating member countries for the comprehensive development and utilization of Mekong River water resources, promoting exchange and cooperations between the member countries and dialogue partners.

Diao said that "the Chinese government always attaches much importance to the dialogue meeting with MRC and will continuously offer our strong support to contribute to the sustainable development of the Lancang-Mekong subregion."

U Nyunt Hlaing, Ambassador of Myanmar to Laos who led Myanmar delegation to the meeting, said that "as Mekong River Commission's dialogue partner, we are committed to enhance cooperation and contact with the MRC and the upper basin dialogue partner." " Myanmar is willing to extend cooperation in the areas of mutual interest of which drought management program, navigation program and initiative on climate change impact."

China and Myanmar have a long-standing agreement on cooperation with the MRC and have been dialogue partners with the organisation since 1996 with China providing upstream hydro-meteorological data during the wet season since 2002 that the MRC says plays an important role in its flood forecasting.

The Dialogue Meeting is an annual event where the MRC engages with its Dialogue Partners on its cooperation framework and discussions on how the four member states of the MRC -- Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam -- can increase their cooperation with the upstream neighbors.

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