Second Senior-Level Working Groups Meeting
June 27, 2017
1. On June 27, the second Senior-Level Working Groups (SLWG) meeting of the Japan-Mekong Connectivity Initiative was held in Bangkok, Thailand.
2. The SLWG was attended by Director-General and Deputy Director-General-level officials from Japan and the Mekong countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Viet Nam, Thailand (CLMVT)). The SLWG meeting confirmed the status of progress of the Japan-Mekong Connectivity Initiative and discussed in particular on the issue of how to improve “soft” connectivity, including such areas as customs procedures and land development along economic corridors.
3. The Government of Japan will continuously engage actively in efforts to strengthen connectivity in the Mekong region and hopes that discussions in the SLWG will contribute to the formulation of a CLMVT master plan promoted by Thailand.
The Japan-Mekong Connectivity Initiative was first proposed by Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, in May 2016, and was launched by Japan and the countries of the Mekong region at the Ninth Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers' Meeting in July 2016. This initiative seeks to not only enhance physical connectivity, but also strengthen “vibrant and effective connectivity” in the Mekong region through efforts to improve and strengthen institutional and people-to-people connectivity. The SLWG is the body tasked with making concrete progress under this initiative. The first SLWG meeting was held on August 25, 2016, in Bangkok, Thailand, where discussions were held on vitalizing the southern, eastern and northern economic corridors.