U.S. Embassy Hanoi celebrated the successful completion of an English language training seminar series for over 100 Vietnamese government officials dealing with the six pillars of the Lower Mekong Initiative: Health, Connectivity, Agriculture, Environment, Energy Security, and Education. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the six seminars were hosted by Vietnam National University Hanoi – University of Languages and International Studies with participants from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Education and Training, Vietnam Customs General Administration, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Health.
“These seminars not only improve government officials’ ability to communicate effectively in regional and international meetings,” said U.S. Embassy Environment, Science, Technology and Health officer Douglas S. O’Neill, at the closing ceremony, “but more importantly they provide an opportunity for them to develop new relationships with their counterparts from the LMI countries.”
The course provided 40 hours of intensive English language instruction to help participating officials from neighboring countries communicate more effectively with one another as they collaborate on issues of mutual concern in the lower region of the Mekong River. The six seminars focused on the six LMI pillars from October 2013 to April 2014. American and Vietnamese experts on English for Specific Purposes (ESP) co-taught these courses. The participants also had a chance to participate in follow-up distance learning and regional enhancement fora.
Another cohort of this program is being planned for the next fiscal year in Vietnam and other LMI countries.
The Lower Mekong Initiative, launched in July 2009, is a multi-national effort intended to foster cooperation between and among Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States in the six areas of Health, Connectivity, Agriculture and Food Security, Environment and Water Security, Energy Security, and Education. These sectors form the six pillars of the LMI. A primary objective of the initiative is to build local capacity to allow the region to more effectively collaborate across borders and to overcome local obstacles in meeting regional challenges and opportunities. For more information, please visit www.lowermekong.org.