Sustainable Energy and Environment

In a proactive move to empower Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in the Lancang-Mekong (LM) countries in navigating the digital realm amid a post-pandemic era, Mekong Institute (MI) brought together stakeholders from Cambodia, People’s Republic of China (P. R. China), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam in a five-day regional training program on July 10-14, 2023 at the MI Headquarters in Khon Kaen, Thailand.

With support from P. R. China, the event marked a significant milestone as it saw the inaugural participation of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, an integral part of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), in MI’s regional training program.

The transformative training program featured two parts, including instructional sessions and structured learning visits (SLVs), attracting the participation of twenty-six (26) mid-level officials, academic representatives, and key MSME stakeholders across all six LM countries.

Through the training, MI highlighted the importance of embracing digital connectivity as a crucial aspect of revolutionizing MSMEs’ business operations in an era where consumer behaviors have rapidly evolved toward digital reliance. However, countries continue to face challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, political complexities, and cybersecurity apprehensions.

The training curriculum provided the participants with necessary information and lessons on digital connectivity through four extensive modules. The first module featured a presentation by Dr. Liu Yun, from the Research Center of Kunming University of Science and Technology, who introduced participants to the prevailing trends and digitalization landscape of MSMEs in LM countries.

Subsequent modules were led by esteemed professionals such as Mr. Tiat Jin Ooi, Founder & Principal Consultant of Curated Connectors in Singapore, who discussed the diverse digital platforms currently being utilized by MSMEs. Mr. Pongsak Sanitwong Na Ayuthaya, President & Founder of Wiz Me Magic Ltd., guided participants through enlightening sessions on digital branding and marketing strategies, empowering them to harness digital tools and platforms for market expansion.

An SLV to KKU-Innoprise, which is Khon Kaen University’s innovation hub, served as one of the highlights of the program. The learning visit provided participants with practical tools and best practices to catalyze the adoption of digital technologies.

The participants crafted in-country action plans as one of the concrete outcomes of the training. These action plans are designed to guarantee the dissemination of acquired knowledge from the training, ultimately benefiting their respective organizations and countries.

For more information on KKU-Innoprise, visit: here

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