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Mekong-Republic of Korea Cooperation

Established in 2011, The Mekong-Republic of Korea Cooperation represents a dynamic and mutually beneficial partnership between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the countries of the Mekong region, namely Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam (CLMTV). Strengthened by shared goals of economic development, sustainable growth, and cultural exchange, this collaboration aims to foster regional prosperity, enhance the well-being of the people, narrow the development gap among regional countries, support ASEAN Community building, and address challenges in the Mekong region.

The cooperation is guided by The Plan of Action (PoA) 2021-2025 under the Mekong-RoK Cooperation framework. It serves as a guideline for the Mekong countries and the ROK (the Partner countries) in setting specific goals and measures until 2025 to build a Partnership for People, Prosperity, and Peace, as proclaimed in the Mekong-Han River Declaration adopted at the first Mekong-RoK Summit on November 27, 2019, in Busan, ROK.


Korea - ASEAN Solidarity Initiative (KASI)

The Korea-ASEAN Solidarity Initiative (KASI) marks a significant regional policy introduced by the Republic of Korea to strengthen its partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Recognizing ASEAN as a pivotal ally for fostering peace and shared prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, South Korea has aligned KASI within the framework of the Indo-Pacific Strategy. This initiative reflects a commitment to building on existing robust partnerships that span trade and socio-economic cooperation. KASI outlines strategic goals to enhance collaboration in various domains, including economic development, regional security, and cultural exchange, emphasizing a comprehensive and strategic partnership with ASEAN. The initiative underscores South Korea's dedication to moving beyond traditional partnerships and working towards a more multifaceted and enduring relationship with ASEAN, signaling a commitment to contribute to the broader stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.

Mekong-Republic of Korea Cooperation Fund (MKCF)

After the initiation of the Mekong–Republic of Korea (ROK) partnership in 2011, the Mekong Republic of Korea Cooperation Fund (MKCF) was established in 2013 to foster and facilitate collaboration in six priority areas/sectors, as outlined in the Han River Declaration of 2011. These priority areas include:

1) Infrastructure; 2) Information Communication Technology (ICT); 3) Green Growth; 4) Water Resource Development; 5) Agriculture and Rural Development; and 6) Human Resource Development.

In 2019, the Mekong-ROK Foreign Minister Meeting addressed the evolving dynamics and needs of the Mekong countries. Following these discussions, priority areas and sectors for cooperation were identified, encompassing:

1) Culture and Tourism; 2) Information Communication Technology (ICT); 3) Environment; 4) Infrastructure; 5) Agriculture and Rural Development; 6) Human Resource Development; and 7) Non-traditional Security Challenges.

To fund the MKCF, an annual contribution from the ROK to the Mekong Institute (MI) was agreed upon by the five Mekong countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand) and the ROK. The MKCF is managed by Mekong Institute (MI) under the Terms of Reference adopted at the 3rd Mekong – ROK Foreign Ministers' Meeting in July 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. Furthermore, at the 5th Mekong – ROK Foreign Ministers' Meeting in August 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Ministers recognized the necessity for more efficient management of the MKCF. They designated Mekong Institute as the Coordinator for the MKCF.

Prime Project

To support the implementation of MCKF regional projects, the Mekong Institute is currently implementing a project titled 'Capacity Building on Regional Project Design, Implementation, Monitoring & Evaluation of MKCF projects.'

The project, spanning three years from January 10, 2023, to January 9, 2026, is funded by the Mekong – ROK Cooperation Fund (MKCF). The initiative aims to enhance institutional capacities throughout the project cycle management, incorporating systematic monitoring and evaluation processes. By doing so, it aspires to contribute to improved regional cooperation and integration among the Mekong countries and the Republic of Korea.

The project's activities are strategically designed to yield both short-term and long-term outcomes, focusing on enhancing the capabilities of project managers and personnel. The objective is to empower them to develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate projects using a results-based approach, ensuring they remain on budget, on schedule, and on target and ultimately achieve the desired results.


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