VIENTIANE, Lao PDR – In partnership with the government of the Lao PDR, the U.S. government co-hosted a regional meeting between five key Southeast Asian countries on November 16-17, 2017 to encourage equitable, sustainable, and inclusive growth throughout the Lower Mekong Region.
The 10th Regional Working Group Meeting was organized by the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) and the Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM).
LMI was launched by the U.S. government in 2009 to help narrow the development gaps within ASEAN and to encourage collaboration to achieve sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Mekong region. LMI promotes development issues across key focus areas of health, education, agriculture, connectivity, energy, and environment and water.
FLM is a consortium of major donor countries and institutions dedicated to promoting cooperation on mutual development priorities in the region.
Representatives from Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam met in Vientiane where they focused on emerging topics in the Mekong region such as transboundary health, education and STEM programming, issues related to energy development and efficiency, and private sector engagement.
In the event’s opening remarks, U.S. Ambassador Rena Bitter stressed that United States is a committed development partner to the Lao PDR – and to multinational groups working to maintain and strengthen relationships with the Lower Mekong countries.
“The United States sees ASEAN and the LMI as vital spaces for cooperation, in which we pursue our shared goals of economic prosperity and peaceful diplomatic relations among our countries.”