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Initiative on Deepening Cooperation among Local Governments of Lancang-Mekong Countries
2021/06/09

8 June 2021, Chongqing, China

The Sixth Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held in Chongqing, the People's Republic of China, on 8 June 2021. We, the Foreign Ministers of the Lancang-Mekong countries, have agreed to intensify efforts to implement the consensus in the Vientiane Declaration of the Third Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders' Meeting and the Five-Year Plan of Action of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (2018-2022) on strengthening cooperation among local governments of the six member countries.

We hereby proposed the following:

1. We share the view that the geographic proximity, close affinity and cultural similarity of the Lancang-Mekong countries have fostered a traditional friendship that has been passed from generation to generation, and that the close exchanges and fruitful cooperation among local governments have played a significant role in growing the relations among the six member countries.

2. We emphasize that deepening local government cooperation will help enrich the LMC, improve the 3+5+X cooperation framework, promote people-to-people contacts, enhance mutual understanding and bring more benefits to the people of the six member countries.

3. We encourage our local governments to fully leverage their comparative strengths to enhance cooperation and exchanges and actively participate in the LMC.

4. We commend the efforts of our local governments in jointly fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and the dispatch of the medical teams and anti-epidemic supplies. Looking ahead, the local governments of China will continue to provide assistance and support to Mekong Countries to the best of their ability in a joint effort to defeat the virus at an earlier date and promote socio-economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 era.

5. We support the holding of the Forum on Lancang-Mekong Local Government Cooperation, and take note of the List of Areas and Projects for Intended Cooperation with Local Governments of Mekong Countries Proposed by Relevant Chinese Provinces and Municipalities proposed by China so as to promote greater development cooperation among the six member countries.

6. We agree to promote exchanges among local/regional governments of border areas as well as border management departments of Lancang-Mekong countries, in line with the spirit of LMC and each member country's comfort level and domestic laws and regulations, with the aim to address issues of mutual interests including fighting against trans-national crimes.

7. We encourage local governments of the six member countries to forge synergy among their development strategies, and make full use of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that will soon come into force. We also urge local governments to enhance business exchanges and two-way investment, deepen cooperation on agriculture, tourism, border trade, e-commerce, industrial parks, media exchanges, scientific and technological innovation, MSMEs support, and digital economy, and actively participate in jointly building the Lancang-Mekong Economic Development Belt with a view to optimizing regional industrial and supply chains.

8.We recognize the importance of greater connectivity for local economy, tourism and social development in the six member countries, and pledge to step up efforts to promote the upgrade and construction of necessary infrastructure at the local level, such as railway, highway, waterway, ports, tourism ports, power grid, information network, and aviation, enhance the facilitation of customs clearance and transportation, and build safe, efficient, integrated, sustainable and environmentally friendly infrastructures and tourism facilities.

9. We support close communication and contact among local governments of the six member countries, and welcome the establishment of more sister-city relations while strengthening existing ones. The sister-city relationships between member countries should be on equal footing and based on the principle of mutual respect. We encourage the local governments to jointly intensify their engagements, formulate concrete cooperation plans and activities that could yield tangible benefits to local people in the long run. We acknowledge the role of associations, enterprises and non-governmental entities and encourage them to advance cooperation and exchanges in all fields.

10. We encourage local governments of the six member countries to intensify efforts to study and implement the Five-Year Plan of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation on Poverty Reduction (2018-2022) and increase the sharing of experiences, best practice and knowledge on poverty reduction to promote rural revitalization in Lancang-Mekong countries.

11. We encourage local governments of the six member countries to deepen and expand cooperation on digital transformation and IT application, ecology and environment, culture, education, safe transportation, tourism, sports, health, women and youth through cultural performances, roadshows, exhibitions, training, academic exchanges, international sports events and other activities to enhance mutual understanding and friendship among people of the six member countries. Relevant Chinese local governments will also provide more scholarships for students of Mekong countries.

12. We recommend the local governments of the six member countries to promote closely coordination with respective LMC National Secretariats/ Coordination Units for smooth and greater efficiency in work in practical cooperation in all areas.

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