Trade and Investment Facilitation

Khon Kaen, Thailand (May 28, 2015) – Mekong Institute (MI) has conducted a joint Synthesis and Evaluation (S&E) workshop on “Business Research and Information Management, Trade Events Promotion and Structured Learning Visit (SLV) cum Business Matching” on May 27, 2015. The workshop was part of the one year project on “Enhancing Provincial and Local Chambers of Commerce Capacities (CCIs) in Trade and Investment Facilitation along North South Economic Corridor (NSEC: R3A&B) sponsored by the ASEAN China Cooperation Fund (ACCF). The workshop aimed at obtaining reflections on the action plan implementation and integrating the inputs for new project development in the North-South Economic Corridor (NSEC). 

The participants represented China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand who led the country-wise action plans in the NSEC R3A & R3B. The participants localized the knowledge and skills they learned through the trainings, business to business meetings and business matching in the corridor. Through these events, the participants improved their business networking capabilities and initiated business negotiation with the potential partners. 

In this workshop, the outline of the new proposal for the NSEC economic development was introduced. The participants validated and provided their comments for the proposed activities on SME development in the corridor via e-commerce promotion, logistics master program, utilization of FTA and trade events promotion. MI pledged to further upgrade and disseminate the NSEC B2B E-platform (www.nsecbiz.com) for corridor business facilitation by strengthening the cooperation with the national and local stakeholders. 

Moreover, the participants shared the knowledge and information on the trade and investment facilitation measures and projects, as well as challenges and opportunities in the provinces and cities along the NSEC. Mr. Li Minggang, Consul General of China in Khon Kaen, briefed about the China’s participation in the GMS. Mr. Li underlined that China’s One Belt and One Road Initiative has put the GMS in the priority, and the country will further increase its financial support for the sub-regional development in the infrastructure, finance industry, resource management and social sustainable development field. 

At the end of the workshop, by emphasizing the importance of the corridor development for an inclusive regional economy, Dr. Watcharas Leelawath, MI director, mentioned that “learning without application is just like pouring water into the sand” while encouraging the participants to apply their knowledge and skills more in the local area. 

The NSEC– linking Kunming to Bangkok, Kunming to Hanoi, and Hanoi to Nanning – is one of the flagship investments under the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Economic Cooperation Program initiated by the ADB. As a GMS owned inter-government organization, MI has been conducting a series of capacity building programs along the NSEC.

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