OUTCOME 5 - SUCCESS STORY Reaching New Heights in Cooperation, Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement in the Mekong Basin


  • Number of deals and agreements to secure specific cost and benefit sharing arrangements especially joint projects among riparian countries
  • Evidence of strong engagement with China and Myanmar
  • Evidence of ASEAN and GMS Mekong related strategies, forums and meetings reflect MRC basin-wide perspectives
  • Evidence that the opinions/perspectives of academic/research institutions, civil society and private sector are taken into consideration by MRCS and Member Countries
  • Extent of continuing dialogue of MCs to resolve critical basin issues and challenges.


Year 2019 saw several milestones completed as part of MRC’s commitment to promote and strengthen cooperation and partnerships not only among MCs, but also with its growing list of strategic and technical partners regionally and internationally. The year also signified increasing efforts of the MRC to intensify its stakeholder communications and outreach efforts, resulting in more engaged and effective participation from a broad range of stakeholders that included national civil society organisations and the public.

Key Statistics that indicate MRC’s Stakeholder Outreach Efforts

The MRC JC members and CEO fielded questions and comments from stakeholders in November 2019, with facilitation by the MRCS Chief Strategy and Partnership Officer

CEO Dr An Pich Hatda signed the MOU with Dr Zhong Yong, Secretary General of the LMC Water Center in Beijing.

MRCS Chief Strategy and Partnership Dr Anoulak Kittikhoun participated in the 3rd Special Meeting of the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Joint Working Group on Water Resources Cooperation on 29-30 October 2019 in Guangdong, China

The strategic cooperation between MRC and China has reached a new level as highlighted by the renewal of China’s agreement to share Lancang hydrological data that began since 2002, the granting of the right of MRC to attend as an observer-participant in meetings of the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Joint Working Group on Water Resources, and finally at the end of the year, the signing of the MOU between Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Water Center and MRCS.

The year not only demonstrated the continued commitments of MRC’s development partners but the strengthening of ongoing partnerships with other river basin organisations such as that of Mississippi River Commission in the U.S., and the revitalization of longstanding partnerships such as that with the Murray--Darling Basin Authority of Australia.

Senior delegates from MRC JC and MRC Secretariat participated in a week-long exchange visit with the Mississippi River Commission from 17-24 August 2019, where they learned and experienced first-hand how the U.S. uses the public hearing process engage their communities closely is shaping river management & policy.

The Mekong-MRC visit to Australia included two key senior energy officials from Cambodia (Minister Keo Rattanak – middle) and Laos (Vice Minister Daovong Phonekeo – right).

Finally, year 2019 also saw MRC bringing together for the first-time senior representatives from the Mekong countries and seven major Mekong regional cooperation frameworks to discuss and explore opportunities for improved coordination and collaboration. The organisations and cooperation frameworks that were represented include the ASEAN Secretariat, ADB that supports the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program, Ayeyarwady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy, Mekong-Japan Cooperation, Mekong-Korea Cooperation, Lower Mekong Initiative and the MLC.