Yangon (June 30, 2016)- With support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, Mekong Institute conducted the 4th Mekong-ROK Business Forum on June 30 – July 1, 2016 at Yangon, Myanmar. The aim of the forum was to provide opportunity for local SMEs to build business linkages with the Korean business through market access, technology transfer, skill, finance, business support, R&D, and product development. SMEs from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand participated to identify and seek potential Korean business partners and expand their business. The event also launched the web based portal to facilitate pre business matching prior to the event and monitor business progress among the participating companies.
At the inauguration, H.E. Mr. Lim Sung-nam, First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and H.E. Mr. Kyaw Win, Union Minister of Ministry of Planning and Finance of Myanmar warmly welcomed the participants to the Mekong-ROK Business Forum. In his congratulatory remarks at the opening ceremony of the forum, Vice Minister Lim highlighted the importance of private investment for sustainable development in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. He noted that in an effort to support cooperation between SMEs of the ROK and the GMS countries, the ROK government is actively rendering assistance with not only infrastructure development, but also social infrastructure, such as healthcare and education.
The forum was attended by around 120 participants from relevant ministries and agencies, chambers of commerce, and private sectors. It covered emerging topics on updating investment opportunities in the Mekong sub-region and strengthening trade and investment cooperation between Mekong & ROK. Speaking at the thematic session on ‘Strenghtnening Trade and Investment Cooperation between Mekong & ROK,’ Mr. Madhurjya K. Dutta, Director of Trade and Investment Facilitation at Mekong Institute highlighted the cooperation projects of the Republic of Korea being implemented by MI and introduced the web platform on GMS business networks developed for the 5-year project on RoK-Mekong Business Forum.
Through the seminar, the participants were able to gain information about the current trade and investment trends and prepare themselves for growing opportunities in the region. The seminar provided an enabling environment for cooperation among the stakeholders in the public and private sectors. The website of the forum – www.gmsbiznetworks.com, also drew interests of the participants as it allowed users to search for seminar materials and other information. Registered members can also use the website as a platform for sharing and exchanging information for business expansion.
In parallel with the forum, one-on-one business consultations were held among entrepreneurs of Korea and the Mekong countries to exchange information and explore the possibility of expanding their presence in each other’s markets. Nine Korean companies and 35 companies from Mekong countries attended. Several cooperation possibilities and partnership were identified during the event. The participants exchanged information on their business, various production technique and channels of distribution. Product samples were given to both up-and- down stream entrepreneurs.