Innovation and cooperation strategies are the central themes in this year’s Mekong Forum happening on August 3, 2018 at Avani Khon Kaen Hotel & Convention Centre, Khon Kaen.

Gathering opinion leaders and key development actors in the region and beyond, this year’s Forum expounds on the theme: Turnarounds and Takeoffs: Speeding Up Competitiveness and Connectivity in the GMS.

“In this year’s forum, we will strive to answer how innovation can be harnessed, what kind of strategic policy and incentives we can use to promote innovation, and how development cooperation can improve the connectivity of the people in the region,” said Dr. Watcharas Leelawath, MI Executive Director.

This year’s event is the sixth since MI started hosting the one-day gathering in 2011. “The Mekong Forum is a milestone event both for MI and the development actors in the GMS. It is an occasion for networking, linkaging, and knowledge sharing of ideas and solutions that can help realize the development goals and aspirations of the people in the GMS,” Dr. Leelawath added.

Mekong Forum 2018 offers three sessions that will explore the following: challenges in the growth momentum of the GMS; scaling up competitiveness through innovation; and harnessing development cooperation mechanisms to promote strengthened regional connectivity.

Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee, former Minister of Energy and Minister of Commerce of Thailand is this year’s keynote speaker, while Mr. Kensuke Tanaka, head of the Asia Desk of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is delivering a special address. Joining them as session speakers are experts from the government, academe, business and development cooperation agencies working in and outside the GMS.

Mekong Forum 2018 is organized in partnership with the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Open Development Initiative (ODI), and with the support of Thai Smile and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Visit for more details and follow event updates on Facebook at @mekongforum and on Twitter at @MekongInstitute. 

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