Agricultural Development and Commercialization ,Trade and Investment Facilitation ,Innovation and Technological Connectivity ,Sustainable Energy and Environment ,Social Inclusion and Vulnerability
The Mekong-Republic of Korea Cooperation has achieved historic gains since the “Mekong-Han River Declaration” in 2011, cementing its integral position in fostering public-private collaboration, cross-country information exchange, and solution-finding initiatives for deeper cooperation and socioeconomic growth.

To commemorate 10 years of Mekong-Republic of Korea Cooperation, an online forum titled “From Cooperation to Strategic Partnership: A Decade of Shared Development for People, Prosperity and Peace” will be held on October 1, 2021 from 9:00 am to 11:30 am (Thailand Time). 

Hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea (ROK) in Thailand and Mekong Institute (MI), high-ranking government officials, as well as leaders of international development organizations and universities from Mekong countries and ROK will present progress achieved in the areas of tourism and culture; human resources development; agriculture and rural development; infrastructure; information and communication technology; environment; and non-traditional security challenges.

They will also spotlight priorities in strengthening pandemic response, enhancing regional supply chain resiliency, and revitalizing business activities, particularly of small- and medium-sized enterprises, while advocating increased investments in digital and infrastructure connectivity to fast track sustainable socioeconomic recovery strategies.

In addition, discussions will present opportunities for convergence under the New Southern Policy multilateral framework, which will see Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and ROK deepen engagement among and between members, as well as countries within and beyond ASEAN to build a mutually prosperous and expanded “people-centered” community anchored on shared goals and interests.


  1. Stimulate regional discussion on progress, milestones, and other areas of focus to reinforce Mekong-ROK Partnership towards people, prosperity, and peace
  2. Broaden multi-sectoral engagement in addressing development priorities towards pandemic resilient and sustainable socioeconomic recovery
  3. Spotlight development opportunities in aligning synergies and complementarities under the New Southern Policy framework


H.E. Mrs. Arunrung Phothong Humphreys is the Ambassador Attached to the Ministry for Mekong Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand. Her Excellency has been a career diplomat since 1993, having been appointed as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Kingdom of Bhutan. Ambassador Phothong also represented Thailand in high-ranking positions in the United Nations in New York, New Delhi, and Brussels. Her areas of expertise range from human rights; human security issues; science, technology and innovation (STI); and East Asian affairs. Her extensive work has been credited to have initiated Thailand-Belgium Cooperation on STI and to have strengthened bilateral relations between Thailand and ASEAN nations. Ambassador Phothong completed her Master’s Degree in Development Studies from Ohio University.


H.E. Mr. Lee Wook-heon is the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Thailand. Prior to his current position, His Excellency was the Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan and Deputy Minister for Protocol Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In his 36-year career, Ambassador Lee also represented the Republic of Korea in key diplomatic positions in the Republic of Gabon, the French Republic, the Kingdom of Belgium, the European Union, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. For his outstanding service, he received the Prime Minister Citation and Service Merit Medal. Ambassador Lee completed his Master’s Degree in International Public Administration at the École Nationale d’Administration, France.

Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn is MI’s Executive Director. He steers the strategic planning and implementation of the intergovernmental organization’s capacity development services to accelerate sustainable socioeconomic development in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Recognized as a respected development leader and regional integration advocate, Mr. Suriyan holds over 15 years of experience in delivering innovative approaches and sustainable practices across his specialized areas of agriculture and rural development, public-private partnership, and trade facilitation in the GMS and Southeast Asia.

Mr. Lee Sunghoon is the Manager of the Department of Development Strategy and Portfolio Management at the Korea International Cooperation Agency in Seoul, Korea.  

Mr. Lerdphan Sukyirun represents the River Basin Management Division of the Office of the National Water Resources, Office of the Prime Minister, Thailand. An expert in the field, he has written technical papers such as the “Long-Term Planning of Water Quality Management in the Bang Pakong River Basin Under Uncertainty,” “Drought Management in Thailand Wet Season, 2014 Dry Season, 2014/15 Wet Season, 2015 Chao Phraya River Basin,” and the “Comparison of the Spatial Rainfall in Khun Dan Prakan Chon Reservoir by Spatial Interpolation Techniques.” A licensed civil engineer, Mr. Lerdphan completed his Master of Applied Science, majoring in Environmental Systems and Engineering in Water Resources Management, at the University of Regina, Canada and Master of Public Administration at Chulalongkorn University, in Thailand.

Mr. Kavi Chongkittavorn is the Senior Fellow of the Institute of Security and International Studies, Chulalongkorn University. He is also a columnist of Bangkok Post.

Professor Dr. Peninnah Oberdorfer is the Head of the Infectious Disease Division of the Department of Pediatrics, Chiang Mai University. She has served as principal investigator in numerous national and international research projects in public health, infection control in hospitals, and new vaccines for children. A respected medical expert, she holds committee seats related to national disease control in Thailand. Prof. Dr. Peninnah is also a prolific writer, having published over 200 peer-reviewed international journal articles and books. She holds a Ph.D. in Behavioral Science in Relation to Medicine from the Hunter Center for Health Advancement and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Epidemiology from the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta is the Director and Chief of Party of the USAID-Mekong Sustainable Manufacturing Alliance, which is led by the Institute for Sustainable Communities. Prior to his current position, Mr. Dutta was the Director of Trade and Investment Facilitation of Mekong Institute. He was previously the Research Director of the Economic Institute of Cambodia. He also worked with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the United Nations Development Programme in Cambodia and the Philippines. Mr. Dutta’s area of focus is on trade and investment facilitation. He has designed and implemented several regional projects in the GMS on small- and medium-sized enterprise development for regional and global value chain integration, cross-border trade, special economic zone development, digital trade, sustainable transport, logistics and tourism development, among others. He earned his Master of Science in Regional Development Planning and Management from the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany and a Master’s Degree from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi.

Ms. Amanda J. Van den Dool serves as the Energy and Infrastructure Team Lead for USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia in Bangkok, Thailand, where she manages a diverse portfolio of programs on regional energy and environmental safeguards. Ms. Van den Pool also leads USAID’s engagement with development partners. Prior to her current position, she was connected with USAID’s Power Africa, where she managed cross-border trade and transmission efforts and led coordination with bilateral and multilateral development partners. Ms. Van den Dool has also served in the development agency’s Policy Bureau, Democracy, and Governance Office, as well as its Education Office. In 2010, she was selected to represent the U.S. government as a Mansfield Fellow in Japan after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Ms. Van den Dool holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois in Chicago.


The forum will be live streamed from the MI Headquarters on October 1, 2021 from 9:00 am to 11:30 am via Zoom and Facebook channels. Register at https://cutt.ly/6EwRUCy.

For more information, access the Concept Note or contact

Mr. Moon Bae Chung
Second Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of Korea
at [email protected]
Ms. Sanchita Chatterjee
Team Leader and Program Specialist Mekong Institute
at [email protected].

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