We came here to introduce ourselves, to seek opportunities and to explore the potential for collaboration and cooperation, declared Indonesian Ambassador H.E. Mr. Lutfi Rauf during his visit to the Mekong Institute (MI) on July 23, 2012. 

Dr. Suchat Katima, MI Director, and H.E. Rauf discussed MIs shifting focus to AEC integration and the ways in which this could lead to future cooperation. 
Dr. Katima explained the institutions plans; to take its participants beyond the GMS into the kind of economies that it will soon be united with. 

He continued by saying that collaboration between MI and Indonesia would be an important step forward, giving GMS nationals an opportunity to see and learn how Indonesia manages vital sectors like import and export. 

Ambassador Rauf expressed his support for MIs focus on human resource development and the importance its activities play in preparing GMS nations for AEC integration in 2015. Given the free flow of goods, services, and professionals that will come with the expanded community, H.E. Rauf stated that it is essential that the regions workforce is equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise to deal with the changes and challenges of AEC. 

The ambassador informed MI that Indonesia is increasingly concerned by food and energy security, and would like to learn more about self-sufficiency models. 

H.E. Mr. Rauf reaffirmed MIs ever-present themes of collaboration and cooperation and identified MI as a key institution in the facilitation of exchange between GMS and other ASEAN countries. The keyword is collaboration, he explained, No matter how big Indonesia is, we need to collaborate with other countries; we can’t run it independently.

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