At a virtual opening ceremony of a conference under the Mekong-U.S. Partnership Track 1.5 Policy Dialogue, Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.S. Ha Kim Ngoc lauded the rapid growth of the partnership over the past time. The conference, themed energy and infrastructure, gathers more than 130 representatives of the sides and a number of other partners. 

Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.S. Ha Kim Ngoc

In his speech, Ngoc affirmed that energy and infrastructure are always a high priority in cooperation among Mekong countries in particular and ASEAN member states in general, which is important to help narrow the development gap.

The diplomat suggested that the U.S. and Mekong countries continue to attach importance to their cooperation in the fields, especially in post-pandemic recovery efforts.

He hoped there will be high-quality U.S. projects implemented in the Mekong sub-region.

Reaffirming the nation’s strong commitment to the region and the importance of the Mekong-U.S. Partnership, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel J. Kritenbrink said that in the coming time, the U.S. will continue to coordinate with Mekong nations and other partners to implement agreed plans and projects.

The U.S. will coordinate with Japan to provide technical support for the development of renewable energy and cross-border electricity trade, and to improve energy markets, promote a pilot project to build an energy storage system in Vietnam, and another project on electric vehicle development in Thailand.

Participants discussed orientations for sustainable energy and infrastructure development in the Mekong sub-region, ensuring socio-economic goals, and improving the capacity to adapt to climate change.

They also mentioned such challenges as differences between countries' legal regulations, lack of coordination in the implementation of some hydropower projects, and increasingly complicated climate change.

The event is the second in a series of Mekong-U.S. Partnership Track 1.5 Policy Dialogue conferences slated for 2021 – 2023.

Source: VNA