The Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) is an initiative by six countries - Cambodia, India, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam launched in 2000 at Vientiane, Lao PDR, for cooperation in tourism, culture, education, as well as transport and communications. Both the Ganga and the Mekong are civilizational rivers, and the MGC initiative aims to facilitate closer contacts among the people inhabiting these two major river basins. The MGC is also indicative of the civilizational, cultural and commercial linkages among the member countries of the MGC down the centuries.
Hon'ble Prime Minister of India during his visit to Cambodia in April 2002 announced grant for setting up of the "MGC Asian Traditional Textiles Museum" at Siem Reap Cambodia. The Cambodian government allotted one hectare of land in a prime location in Siem Reap for this project. Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has been designated by the Government of India as the nodal agency for implementing the project. APSARA is the nodal body for the project on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Hon'ble Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil the President of India, laid the foundation stone for MGC Asian Traditional Textiles Museum at the allocated land in Siem Reap during her visit in September 2010. The construction of the Museum was completed in December 2011. Work on operationalising the Museum started in 2012 spearheaded by Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik in Cambodia and with the appointment of Prof. Charu Smita Gupta as the Director of the Museum. The soft opening of the Museum was held on April 7, 2014 in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, Dr. Sok An and Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, India Mr. Anil Wadhwa.
Mekong -Ganga Cooperation Asian Traditional Textiles Museum was opened in April 2014. The Museum explores raw materials, methods of processing the raw materials, weaving methods, methods of decorating the textiles, variety of textiles, from the Mekong-Ganga region. The museum features all- encompassing processes of making of traditional textiles from around two river cultures. That is the Ganga and the Mekong. Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam are the countries, who have collaborated in making of this museum. The museum features briefly the all-encompassing picture of traditional textiles from around two river cultures.
Each country has tremendous strengths in traditional natural fibre, the decorative styles of textiles Collections. Ethnic and regional variations give multitudinous range of textiles. It was an enormous task for each country to select a limited few exhibits fitting into the content of each gallery. Silk and cotton are the two natural fibers found in all countries of Mekong-Ganga region. Silk rearing, reeling is an ancient activity in Cambodia, India, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.