Trade and Investment Facilitation

Bangkok (March 18, 2016) – Mekong Institute (MI) organized an Inception Workshop to formally launch the Project on “Enhancing Competitiveness of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises along the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC) of the ASEAN Mekong Subregion” (Project) in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop aimed to introduce the project goals, objectives and activities together with an indicative work plan for the period 2016 – 2017 to the members of the Project Steering Committee (PSC) and stakeholders and seeks their contribution and support to the Project and its implementation progress towards the sustainable achievement. 

With support from the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), the Project is implemented in 19 provinces along the Central Sub-Corridor (8 provinces) and the Coastal Sub-Corridor (11 provinces) on the SEC in Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, with a focus on capacity building development activities related to (i) Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) clusters and network, (ii) Trade and Investment promotion through public and private partnerships and (iii) Strengthening business development services (BDS) providers. This aims to contribute to rapid economic development and inclusive growth in the targeted border provinces through enhanced promotion of trade and investment, and competiveness for SMEs and private sector. 

The workshop was attended by representatives from Asian Development Bank (ADB), Embassy of Japan in Thailand, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training of Cambodia, Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia, Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts of Cambodia, Ministry of Commerce of Myanmar, Ministry of Industry of Myanmar, Ministry of Industry of Thailand, Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, OTAGAI Forum Association, the Republic of the Union of the Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), Board of Trade Thailand, and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

With the key messages delivered by the Embassy of Japan, Mekong Institute (MI), and country remarks by Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam together with discussions and consensus of the participating representatives on the Project governance and structure, arrangements to implement the Project activities in conformity with the desired goals and objectives; and the functions and responsibilities of the PSC led by the Mekong Institute (MI) in 2016, the workshop was successfully concluded. It was unanimously decided that the next PSC meeting will be co-chaired by Republic of the Union of the Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry along with MI in 2017. 

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