Trade and Investment Facilitation

Nanning, P. R. China, July 3, 2022 – The Mekong Institute (MI), the Foreign Affairs Office of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the Department of Commerce of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China-ASEAN Business Center, the Nanning Foreign Affairs Office and the Department of Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, successfully organized the 5th Lancang Mekong Business Forum (LMBF). Themed “Promoting Agribusiness and Investment in Processed Food Sector,” the forum provided a unique platform for businesses to exchange business information and market opportunities while being updated on new trends in the food processing sector. Attended by over one-hundred stakeholders on-site and online, the activity is part of a long-term project funded by the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Special Fund (LMCSF) of P.R. China.  

The event kicked off with welcome remarks by Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, Executive Director, MI, which provided the audience with an introduction to the Lancang-Mekong region and the 5th LMBF program.

The Lancang Mekong region is considered an important global production base and business hub, connecting China and ASEAN to the rest of Asia and the world. Thanks to advanced infrastructure connectivity and logistics systems, there is huge potential to expand markets and trade, particularly in the processed food sector. This is further accelerated by the increase in food demand, the change in consumption patterns as well as advanced food processing and packaging technology

Against this background, the 5th LMBF is being held in Nanning and follows on from the first four events held in similar formats in Bangkok, Hanoi, Phnom Penh and Vientiane, respectively. Spanning three days, the forum activities feature a business seminar, business matching, products exhibition. and a structured learning visit.

The event was graced by the presence of Mr. Zhou Tong, Deputy Director General of Guangxi Foreign Affairs Office, and Ms. Bai Lan, Deputy Director General of China (Guangxi) Pilot, Free Trade Zone Work Office, who provided the opening remarks and underscored the importance of the event. Ms. Xiong Zhilin, Vice-General Manager, Guangxi International Expositions Group Co. Ltd., P. R. China, later introduced the Lancang-Mekong Economic and Trade Cooperation Platform to the forum attendees.  

The panel discussion during the Business Seminar brought together a diverse range of industry leaders and experts and was moderated by Mr. Suriyan. To kick off the session, Mr. Zhu Xinhua, Deputy Director of the Market Development Division, andMr. Wang Bin, Deputy Director of the Foreign Trade Division, Guangxi Department of Commerce, gave a presentation on the investment and trade policy of Guangxi’s agricultural products and food processing industry, and trade markets between Guangxi and ASEAN countries. Mr. Zhang Rongjian, Vice Director General of Guangxi-ASEAN Economic and Technological Development Zone Management Committee, informed the audience about the planning and construction of the Guangxi-ASEAN Economic Development Zone, as well as trade and investment promotion incentives. Next, Mr. Lu Shichang, Director of the Snail Noodle Industry Development Center of Liuzhou, Guangxi, provided an overview of the development history, development model and government support to the snail noodle industry in Liuzhou. The last speaker saw Ms. Zhu Juehong, Publicity Section Chief, Guangxi Food Industry Association, talking about trade and the investment market, investment prospects, and opportunities for agricultural products and the food industry in Guangxi and Lancang-Mekong and ASEAN countries.

From July 4 – 5, 40 entrepreneurs selected from the six Lancang-Mekong countries visited Guangxi-ASEAN Economic Technological Development Zone (GAETDZ) to learn more about Nanning Shuanghui Food (meat & sausage) and Budweiser (beer) and had a chance to visit the Products Exhibition Center. To end the day, the delegation went to China-Singapore International Logistics Park to listen to insights into the latest sectoral developments.

For more information on the LMBF, visit: www.lancangmekongforum.com.

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