Establishing links with other regional organizations working to promote the increased flow of trade, business, investment, is a major goal of the Trade and Investment Division at the Mekong Institute (MI). 

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the MI and the Economic Research Institute for Trade (ERIT) a division of the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce is thus a natural fit for both parties. 

The MoU, signed in Vientiane on Monday 13 August, opens up a myriad of opportunities for collaboration and cooperation on projects of mutual interest. The agreement will enhance connections and cooperation on a wide variety of activities including joint research projects, workshops, seminars and regional and international forums. 

Attending the signing ceremony were officials from both sides including MI Director, Dr. Suchat Katima, and the Vice Minister of Industry and Commerce of Lao PDR, Mr. Siaosavath Savengsuksa. 

Other representatives included MIs Trade and Investment Division Program Manger, Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta, SME Program Specialist, Dr. Nittana Southiseng and Director General and Deputy General of ERIT (respectively), Mr. Santisouk Vilaychalern, and Mr. Bounyuen Khodsimueang. 

The MoU is a small yet crucial step forward in MIs ongoing mission to promote economic development in the GMS. The signing ceremony formalizes the common desire felt by both organizations to work together for a more prosperous region ready for AEC integration in 2015.

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