The Lao PDR was honored to host the 8th Mekong-Japan Summit in Vientiane Capital on Sept 7 under the co-chairs of Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.
The event was attended by leading officials from the sub-Mekong countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
The 8th Mekong-Japan Summit reviewed the implementation of the Mekong-Japan Action Plan and its progress towards realisation of the New Tokyo Strategy 2015 and the vision of Mekong-Japan Industrial Development.
Sub-Mekong leaders praised Japan’s efforts in giving assistance to the sub-Mekong region for the development of industrial infrastructure, particularly during the past year in which the government of Japan funded one third of its 750 billion yen commitment in ODA assistance to the Mekong region, that Japan announced was approved by the Cabinet in February 2015 for the following three years, for the New Tokyo Strategy 2015.
Last year, the Lao PDR also received assistance from Japan for the Wattay International Airport Terminal Expansion Project, the Transmission Line Development Project in the southern part of the country, the National Road No. 9 Improvement Project and the Vientiane Industrial Zone Development Project. These projects have greatly contributed to the development of industrial infrastructure and roads linking with sub-Mekong countries as well as the region and ASEAN member countries.
As the result of the New Tokyo Strategy 2015 for Mekong-Japan Cooperation, over the past three years, almost 1,000 Japanese companies have invested in sub-Mekong countries. Last year, the Pakse-Japan Special Economic Zone for Small Medium Enterprises was established in Champassak Province, creating many jobs for local people.
Participants at the summit also discussed future Mekong-Japan cooperation. Its focus will be on cooperation frameworks in priority sectors including development in the Mekong region that is based on integration, balance and sustainability, human security and green growth.
Japan will continue providing assistance for the economic development corridor of the Mekong sub-region under the initiative of Mekong sub-region connectivity, a study of Vientiane-Hanoi Connectivity to develop highways and expressways in the future.
The 9th Mekong-Japan Summit will be held in the Philippines in 2017