The Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI), launched in 2009, is a multinational partnership among Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States to create integrated sub-regional cooperation among the five Lower Mekong countries. Under the Connectivity Pillar, the United States works with partner countries to narrow the development gap in ASEAN through the delivery of trainings and technical assistance in trade facilitation, capacity building, and human development. The LMI Connectivity Pillar is designed to reflect the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and promote the achievement of the ASEAN Community in 2015.
The LMI Connectivity Pillar leverages U.S. expertise in fostering trade, entrepreneurship, and innovation in order to promote physical, institutional, and people-to-people connectivity. This approach is reinforced by the “Connect Mekong” platform, which establishes formal channels of communication between LMI and ASEAN, accelerates LMI programs to support ASEAN connectivity, and initiates new efforts to generate grassroots entrepreneurship in the Mekong sub-region.