Trade and Investment Facilitation

Officials from Mekong Institute (MI) and the Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Planning and Investment of Lao PDR convened at the launch of the “Development of Regional Cooperation Project Monitoring Data Center” project on December 4, 2020 via digital channel.  

Supported by the Mekong-Republic of Korea Cooperation Fund (MKCF), the project aims to effectively monitor and evaluate regional cooperation project implementation of Mekong countries, where lessons learned will be shared and exchanged to deliver holistic development impacts.

“This project will help strengthen the design and delivery of MKCF projects not just in Lao PDR but in other Mekong countries, thus advancing mutual benefits for a stronger Mekong region,” Mr. Madhurjya K. Dutta, MI Director of Trade and Investment Facilitation, said during the opening session.

He also commended the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, who serves as the project implementing agency, for its commitment in creating a knowledge base of critical information that can serve as basis for policy actions. He further added the synergies in project implementation are critical for sustainability and have suggested complementing the project’s monitoring data with MI’s own M and E system for a more robust framework.

Dr. Arounyadeth Rasphone, Deputy Director General, said that “sharing expertise and information is key for the success of the project,” before detailing the project’s objectives, workplan, and implementation arrangements among a broad range of government divisions to shore ownership and better understanding of the project’s processes and deliverables.

The project, which falls under the Information and Communication Technology priority area of the Han River Declaration of 2011, will produce a database needs assessment; develop a management information system application; create project guidelines; and facilitate a series of regional workshops to disseminate the merits and function of the monitoring data center for wider regional use.

In addition to the project launch, the meeting also included orientation sessions on MKCF monitoring and reporting guidelines, as well as procurement and financial requirements for the smooth implementation of the project.

MI, who serves as the fund manager and coordinator of MKCF, currently oversees the project implementation of 20 implementing agencies from Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Korea. These have strengthened capacities in information communication technology for market expansion, designing greener growth models for economic and environmental advancement, improving water resource management, facilitating a regional agriculture value chain and deepening regional cooperation through education, skills development, trade and business.

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