May 9, Quang Tri Province, Vietnam – Dr. Watcharas Leelawath, Executive Director of Mekong Institute, met with Mr. Nguyen Quan Chinh, Vice Chairperson of Quang Tri Provincial People’s Committee, to discuss continued cooperation on cross-border trade facilitation (CBTF) under MI’s Regional and Local Economic Development – East West Economic Corridor (RLED-EWEC) Project.  

Banking on the Project, Mr. Nguyen Quan Chinh noted how it has brought about tangible and sustainable results by improving income of coffee farmers and enterprises. He expressed appreciation of MI’s contribution to local socio-economic development by providing technical support and initiating collaborative platforms to enhance cooperation among the border provinces of Quang Tri, Savannakhet, and Mukdahan. Mr. Chinh also lauded Mekong Institute for publicizing border clearance procedures at Lao Bao Border Crossing Point, which ensures transparency in public service and at the same time significantly reduces cost and time for import-export entrepreneurs. Mr. Chinh added that Quang Tri would prioritize resources to deliver excellent results from the SDC-funded Project as it draws to phasing out. Lastly, he confirmed the provincial government’s continued cooperation with MI for further human resource development and regional integration.

The courtesy visit capped-off with an LoA signing ceremony on MI’s technical and financial support to facilitate border crossing for commercial vehicles and caravan tours between Quang Tri and Mukdahan. The agreement was initiated by a Business to Government (B2G) dialogue between representatives of the business community and provincial governments of Quang Tri, Savannakhet, and Mukdahan held in Mukdahan, Thailand on August 8, 2018.

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