International Organisations Current Affairs - 2019

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5th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) held in Vladivostok

The fifth edition of Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) was held in Vladivostok, Russia from September 4 to 6, 2019. It was aimed at roviding a platform for discussing issues aimed at expanding international cooperation in Asia-Pacific region and developing the economy of Russias Far East.  The participants in Summit were India, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was Chief Guest at the event being hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Key Takeaways from Summit

India’s Line of Credit (LoC): PM Modi while addressing Plenary Session of 5th EEF announced LoC worth $1 billion for the development of the Far East region of Russia. This is the first-ever region-specific LoC extended by India in a foreign country.

Act Far East policy: PM Modi also announced launching of India’s “Act Far East” policy. Russia’s Far East is rich in resource, but is sparsely populated region. This policy aims to tap this region’s resources potential and also find opportunities for skilled workers to find employment in this region. It also ties in well with Indo-Pacific concept, and opens up possibilities for India to use Arctic route to connect with northern Europe.

About Eastern Economic Forum (EEF)

It is annual event held at Vladivostok, Russia to encourage foreign investment in the Russian Far East. It was established by decree of Russia President Vladimir Putin in 2015.

It is aimed at supporting economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in Asia-Pacific region.

Objectives:

(i) Strengthening ties between Russian business and federal, regional, and local government bodies on side and international investment community on other side.

(ii) Conducting comprehensive expert assessment of Russia’s Far East economic potential and improving its competitiveness and attractiveness to investors.

(iii) Showcasing new investment and business opportunities such as advanced special economic zones (SEZs), Vladivostok Free Port, and state support for high-potential investment projects.

Events at this Forum: These are held in the form of panel sessions, roundtables, business breakfasts, televised debates and business dialogues devoted to Russia’s relationships with various countries.

10th Mekong Ganga Cooperation Ministerial meeting held in Bangkok

The 10th Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Ministerial Meeting was held in Bangkok, Thailand. India was represented by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. During this meeting, new MGC Plan of Action 2019-2022 was adopted.

New MGC Plan of Action 2019-2022

It envisages project-based cooperation among member countries in various areas including tourism and culture, education, public health and traditional medicine, agriculture and allied sectors, transport and communication, MSMEs and water resources management.

About Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC)

It is sub-regional cooperation organisation comprising India and five ASEAN countries, namely, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. It was launched in 2000 at Laos capital Vientiane. It takes its name from Ganga and Mekong, the two civilisational rivers in Southeast Asia.

Mandate: To facilitate closer contacts among people inhabiting these two (Ganga and Mekong) major civilisational river basins and enhancing cooperation in culture, tourism, education, transport and communications among member countries.

Note: Mekong River Basin countries are Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.