MKCF AND KOMEC’S MILESTONE EVENT AND TECHNICAL WORKSHOP UNITE MEKONG REGION AND THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA FOR WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

Trade and Investment Facilitation

Bangkok, Thailand – Supported by the Mekong-Republic of Korea Cooperation Fund (MKCF), the Korea-Mekong Water Center (KOMEC) successfully convened a milestone event and technical workshop on May 2–3, 2024, at the Conrad Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. The event aimed to foster closer collaboration between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Mekong countries in water resources management. This initiative falls under KOMEC’s project, “Integration of Knowledge Hub for Water and Environment in the MKCF Framework,” funded by MKCF.

The milestone event and workshop provided a platform for MKCF’s project implementing agencies (PIAs), Mekong development partners, government officials from Lower Mekong countries, and representatives from Mekong regional organizations to share expertise, and experiences, and engage in discussions on technical challenges and project requirements.

Esteemed delegates from Mekong countries and the ROK, alongside development partners such as the United States, Australia, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and various UN agencies participated in the event. In addition, representatives from government bodies and academia graced the occasion, reaffirming the commitment and collaborative spirit toward addressing critical water issues in the region.

The event saw significant strides in project management and international collaboration. Participants gained a thorough grasp of the technical aspects of ongoing MKCF projects. Thematic groupings for technical consultations were identified, paving the way for focused discussions and problem-solving. Moreover, attention was directed toward forming an Expert Advisory Group (EAG) to address the challenges of water resources-related projects.

On international collaboration, the event served as a platform for networking and fostering connections among water experts. Stakeholders collaboratively pinpointed prevailing water and environmental agendas in the Mekong region and potential scale-up plans for Mekong water projects.

The technical workshop, a crucial event component, delved into the intricacies of ongoing projects, aiming to identify challenges and opportunities through close collaboration with PIAs. Strategically sequenced, the workshop comprised presentations, Q&A sessions, and group discussions.

Notably, Mr. Madhurjya K. Dutta, Director of the Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) Department at the Mekong Institute (MI) and the MKCF, played a pivotal role in facilitating the “Agenda Lab.” This session served as a platform to gather feedback on the forthcoming Mekong-Korea Water Forum (MKWF). Participants engaged in detailed discussions covering various aspects of the MKWF, including program formation, session contents, and proposed ideas for restructuring its framework. Insights from individual surveys will inform strategic planning and program enhancement for the 3rd MKWF, scheduled for 2025.

The success of the milestone event and technical workshop underscores the commitment of MKCF, KOMEC, and its partners in shaping the future direction of water management initiatives, fostering collaboration, and prioritizing projects that address pressing water issues in the Mekong River basin.

MI has served as the fund coordinator of MKCF since 2015. The fund provides grants for regional projects aligned with the national priorities of GMS countries. To learn more about MKCF, visit: www.mekongrok.org/mekong-rok-cooperation.php

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