MI Headquarters, October 3, 2023 – Mekong Institute (MI) welcomed key officials from Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs led by Deputy Permanent Secretary H.E. Mrs. Phantipha lamsudha Ekarohit. The visit reaffirmed the ongoing collaboration between MI and the Thai government with emphasis on advancing the Ayeyawady – Chao Phraya – Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS).
Previously, MFA and MI engaged in discussions on the establishment of the ACMECS Interim Secretariat (AIS). MI has agreed to support the MFA’s Mekong Cooperation Unit (MCU) in this initiative by leveraging its expertise, experience, and network. MI will play a crucial role in the execution of the AIS, serving as the technical assistance back office of the MCU. This collaboration will be formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between MI and MFA.
During the visit, DPS Phantipha announced plans to expedite the internal clearance process for the MI-MCU agreement. The goal is to complete this process in a timely manner and enable efficient preparation for the upcoming events scheduled for this year. MI Executive Director Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn expressed MI’s renewed commitment in supporting the Thai MFA.
MCU presented its plans for co-organizing important activities with MI by the end of the year including the 20th anniversary celebration of ACMECS, an awareness campaign, and the setting up of the AIS work plan and strategy.
One of the highlights of the meeting is a visit to the Khon Kean University Science Park that features the Khon Kaen Smart City Project – a cutting-edge initiative utilizing smart city concepts to advance the kingdom’s Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economic agenda.
Also present during the visit are Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) Deputy Director-General Mrs. Arunee Hiam, Mekong Cooperation Unit (MCU) Head Mr. Worawut Smuthkalin, ACMECS Interim Secretariat (AIS) Director Candidate Ms. Kanwana Hemkamon, Temporary Khon Kaen Passport Office Head Mrs. Kulapa Suaprae, and Khon Kaen Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Mr. Preecha Phannikul.
The collaborative efforts between MI and the Ministry hold great promise for the successful implementation of ACMECS initiatives and other areas of partnership.