Trade and Investment Facilitation

Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, Mekong Institute (MI) Executive Director, was part of a distinguished delegation who forwarded recommendations in deepening regional connectivity and economic integration among 120 member countries of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at the virtual SiLKS Road Think Tank Annual Meeting last September 29, 2020.

With the common objective of enhancing policy consultations, information sharing, and regional coordination mechanisms, Mr. Suriyan highlighted the vital role of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) in deepening linkages in areas of mutual interest such as trade facilitation, transport, energy, green economy, and communications for sustainable and people-centered development.

“The BRI provides a solid platform for the effective sharing of policy measures and best practices. As MI is working to support GMS governments’ efforts in building back better a resilient subregion amidst a pandemic, this meeting presents opportunities for us to synergize our expertise and networks to deliver lasting recovery impacts.”

In addition, Mr. Ma Jiantang, Secretary of the Leading Party Members’ Group of the Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC), underscored the importance of think tanks supporting the BRI, describing them as “playing a positive role in promoting people-to-people exchanges, increasing the sharing of knowledge and expertise, and deepening cooperation.”

Hosted by the Silk Road Think Tank Network Secretariat under the DRC, the meeting brought together leaders from over 40 Chinese and international organizations, including the DRC; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the United Nations Development Programme; the United Nations Industrial Development Organization; the OECD Development Centre; think tanks such as the Russian Academy of Sciences; the Kazakhstan Institute of World Economy and Politics; the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Indonesia; the African Economic Research Consortium of Kenya; the National Center of Strategic Planning of Peru; the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation, as well as multinational institutions which included the 48 Group Club of the United Kingdom; Ericsson; and the Suez Environment to launch a joint initiative in promoting the recovery and sustainable development of the global economy.

SiLKS was launched in 2015 to support the guiding framework of the BRI in promoting world economic growth, deepening regional cooperation, and improving the well-being of people through multilateralism. The network currently consists of 59 members and partners, including 41 authoritative think tanks, 11 international organizations, and seven multinational enterprises.

For more information on the SiLKS Online Annual Meeting 2020 and to access the meeting report, please visit www.esilks.org.

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