Event Reports

The Mekong Forum 1

The changing geopolitical landscape in the Mekong and its implications for sub-regional countries

On 19 January, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Vietnam and Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam successfully organized the first edition of the Mekong Forum with the theme “The changing geopolitical landscape in the Mekong and its implications for sub-regional countries ". This forum has connected domestic researchers and diplomats with international scholars in the research field on the Mekong. High on the agenda of this forum is to (i) discuss the do’s list of Mekong’s lower riparian nations, (ii) analyze the Mekong’s unique geopolitics, (iii) emerging trends in the Mekong.

The role and position of Mekong sub-regional cooperation in the overall foreign policy of Viet Nam have been increasingly consolidated. The 13th Congress and Directive No. 25-CT/TW emphasized elevating multilateral diplomacy with the goal that Viet Nam "strives to play a pivotal role, leading and conciliating at multilateral forums and organizations of strategic importance to the country, by its capabilities and specific conditions". Cooperation frameworks in Asia-Pacific, including sub-regional cooperation, are identified as a priority in implementing multilateral diplomacy in the coming time.

In that context, Viet Nam needs to proactively identify interests, goals and appropriate measures in participating in sub-regional cooperation. Independent research and Track II diplomacy also play an essential role in proposing policy recommendations for Viet Nam’s participation in the sub-region cooperation. Therefore, strengthening strategic consultation on Mekong issues through research and Track II diplomacy is one of the essential tools to develop and implement multilateral foreign policies in general and socio-economic development policy related to the Mekong sub-region.  

Against this background, KAS cooperated with Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies - Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam to organize the Mekong Forum series starting from 2022 on ward.

On 19 January, panelists of the Mekong Forum 1 thoroughly assessed the geopolitical position of the Mekong subregion in the policies of major countries; moreover, they discussed the impact of geopolitical competition on the subregion as well as opportunities and challenges for the Mekong countries.  The issues for cooperation among Mekong countries in the coming period was also raised in the discussion session.


Vu Thi Thu Phuong

Vu Phuong

Project Manager

Phuong.Vu@kas.de +84 24 3 7186194 /17 +84 24 37186197