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Development, Trade and Foreign Affairs

Mekong-Korea

This page aims to take stock key documents related to the development of Mekong-Korea Cooperation.

  • The Mekong-Republic of Korea (ROK) cooperation consists of Republic of Korea and five Mekong countries, including Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Mekong-ROK Cooperation​​ was established under the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of ROK and Mekong Countries in Seoul, Republic of Korea in 2011. During the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of Mekong-ROK on 27-28 Oct 2011, the “Han-River Declaration_of Establishing the Mekong-ROK Comprehensive Partnership for Mutual Prosperity” was issued to reflect the ROK’s commitment in supporting the acceleration of ASEAN integration and expanding its Official Development Assistance.
  • There are Six Priority Areas under the Mekong-ROK Cooperation, including:
    1. Infrastructure,
    2. Information Communication Technology,
    3. Green Growth,
    4. Water Resource Development,
    5. Agricultural and Rural Development, and
    6. Human Resource Development.

Plan of Actions

  • 1st Mekong-ROK_Action_Plan (2014-2017) was adopted to establish and operate the Mekong-ROK Cooperation Fund
  • 2nd Mekong-ROK Plan of Action (2017-2020) was adopted at the ROK-Mekong Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Busan in 2017 to set out the guideline for cooperation

Mekong-ROK Business Forum

Mekong-ROK Business Forum was set up during the second bilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in July 2012 aiming to provide private-public cooperation between the two sides through more robust private investment and exchanges. It has been held in the 5 Mekong Countries on an annual and rotational basis.

  • 1st Mekong-ROK Business Forum in Bangkok, May 2013
  • 2nd Mekong-ROK Business Forum in Hanoi, May 2014, under theme: “Strengthening Connectivity of value-Supply Chain in Mekong-Sub-reigon”
  • 3rd Mekong-ROK Business Forum in Phnom Penh, Jul 2015, under theme: “Launch of AEC-Opportunities for Mekong-ROK Trade and Investment”
  • 4th Mekong-ROK Business Forum in Yangon, Jun 2016, under theme: “Realizing Investment Opportunities in Mekong sub-region”
  • 5th Mekong-ROK Business Forum in Vientiane, Oct 2017, under theme: “Promoting Small-and Medium-sized Enterprises and Tourism (and Food and Agricultural) Industry in Mekong Countries and Republic of Korea”
  • 6th Mekong-ROK Business Forum in ROK in Seoul, Dec 2018 (the first time in Korea), under theme: “Promoting Co-prosperity through Eco-friendly Innovation among SMEs in the Mekong Countries and the ROK”
  • 7th Mekong-ROK Business Forum in Bangkok in Oct 2019, under theme: “Enhancing SMEs Innovation Capacity”

Mekong-ROK Senior Officials’ Meeting

The Mekong-ROK Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) supports the Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting which will be held prior to the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. An efficient and effective working mechanism will be developed by SOM to undertake Mekong-ROK cooperation activities.

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea co-hosted the First Mekong – ROK Senior Officials’ Meeting for 2019 on 14 June 2019 at Vithes Samosorn, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangkok.

Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting will be held annually back-to-back with the ASEAN Ministers’ Meeting and related Meetings, co-chaired by one of the Mekong Countries and the ROK. The Meeting will be held in Korea every three years. The Mekong Countries will rotate the chairmanship in alphabetical order.

Mekong-ROK Summit

The Mekong-ROK Summit was initiated by the Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia to elevate the working structure of the Mekong-ROK cooperation framework from Foreign Ministerial level to Summit level.

The Mekong-ROK Cooperation Fund

  • The Mekong-ROK Cooperation Fund (MKCF) was established in 2013 to encourage and support cooperation in six priority areas outlined in the Han River Declaration of 2011.
  • The MKCF is financed through an annual contribution from the ROK to Mekong Institute (MI) and will be managed by MI in accordance with the Terms of Reference (TOR) adopted at the 3rd Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in July 2013, in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam.
  • However, at the 5th Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Aug 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, the Ministers’ recognized the need for a more efficient management of the MKCF and agreed to task MI to act as a Coordinator for the MKCF.
  • From 2013 to 2019, ROK provide USD 7.12 million to foster regional support and cooperation among the six Mekong member countries.
  • The MKCF fund supported by the ROK was USD 2 million for 2019, and it expected to increase the Fund to USD 3 million by 2020 (according to Thai’s MFA in 2019).[1]

The MKCF Projects[2]

  1. Water Resources Management and Development on the Mekong River
  2. Guidelines and Certification for Green Buildings in Cambodia
  3. Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening for Logistics Monitoring and Evaluation Database Development in Cambodia, Lao and Vietnam
  4. Develop Database for Laws and Regulations in the Trade and Industry Sector in Laos
  5. Masterplan Establishment and Capacity Building for the Modernization and Advancement of Hydro-Meteorological Infrastructure at Mekong River
  6. Development of Regional Cooperation Project Monitoring Data Center
  7. Capacity Enhancement on Wind Energy Usage for Sustainable Rural Development in Myanmar
  8. Demonstration of Model Community Forests to Promote Community Forestry Development and Improve Livelihood of Local Community in Myanmar
  9. Building up a Tripartite Model among Academies, Industries, and Government for Skills Development in Vietnam
  10. Enhance Capacity Building of Applying E-Commerce in Agriculture of Mekong Region
  11. Strengthen the Water User Organization for Irrigated Agriculture Development in the Mekong Delta
  12. Comprehensive Training to Increase Efficiency of Rice Production in Thailand
  13. Promotion Safe Migration for Temporary Migrants to Thailand
  14. Capacity Building on Circular Economy, Resource and Energy Efficiency for Productivity and Sustainability of Cassava Chain to High Value Products: Cassava Root, Native Starch and Biogas in Mekong Countries
  15. Strengthening of Border Liaison Office around the Mekong River
  16. Water Data Utilization Platform Prototype and Capacity Building in the Mekong Region
  17. Training of Trainers on Certified Logistic Master (Phase 3)
  18. Green Freight and Logistics Development in the Mekong Countries
  19. Sustainable Smart Tourism Development in the Mekong Countries

[1] Press Release: 2019 Mekong-RoK SOM in Bangkok, MFA of Thailand, as of 02 July 2019

[2] Mekong Institute, Mekong-ROK Cooperation Fund, available at (http://www.mekonginstitute.org/what-we-do/development-funds/mekong-rok-cooperation-fund/)

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