MI Headquarters, September 28, 2023 – Mekong Institute (MI) was honored to host a distinguished delegation from the United States Embassy in Thailand today, led by Ambassador Robert F. Godec. This visit marked a significant milestone in fostering collaboration and strengthening partnerships between MI and the United States.
Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, the Executive Director of MI, welcomed Ambassador Godec and the embassy team. During the visit, Mr. Suriyan provided an overview of MI’s mandate as an intergovernmental organization dedicated to promoting integration and cooperation among Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries.
Highlighting MI’s commitment to regional development, Mr. Suriyan emphasized the institute’s alignment with various regional cooperation frameworks. He outlined MI’s focus areas, including capacity development and policy support through initiaiting dialogues and spearheading developmental research.
Ambassador Godec commended MI’s efforts in implementing capacity development programs and its concrete contributions to fostering GMS integration. He underscored the importance of a strategic and synergistic vision among GMS cooperation frameworks to effectively address the region’s pressing challenges. Looking ahead, Ambassador Godec reaffirmed the commitment of the United States Embassy in Thailand to engage actively with MI and other development partners to advance collaborative solutions.
Mr. Suriyan reflected on MI’s successful past initiatives in partnership with various U.S. institutions. These initiatives spanned a wide array of areas, such as advancing sustainable manufacturing, improving environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices, enhancing food security and agriculture projects through a donor mapping database project, and strengthening MI’s capacity on cross border water resource management through a leadership program.
Mr. Suriyan also highlighted MI’s ongoing collaboration with Winrock International, a U.S.-based non-profit organization. This partnership aims to facilitate and scale up the adoption of climate-smart agricultural innovations through capacity-building activities and outreach efforts. This collaboration is made possible through the USDA-funded Regional Agriculture Innovation Network (RAIN) project. Representatives from Winrock International headed by its Chief of Party, Mr. William Spark, also graced the occasion.
Both parties expressed their enthusiasm for continued collaboration and their shared commitment to driving sustained socioeconomic development across the GMS.