As one of the founding members of the Silk Road Think Tank Network (referred to as ‘SiLKS’ ), MI’s Executive Director, Dr. Watcharas Leelawath and Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta, Director of Trade and Investment Department attended the SiLKS Annual Meeting and the Silk Road Forum held on June 20-21, 2016 in Warsaw, Poland. The Forum was inaugurated by President XI Jinping of PR China. 

Speaking at the session on ‘Trade and Investment Facilitation’, Dr. Watcharas emphasized the importance of utilization of free trade agreements by SMEs while highlighting the capacity building needs among public and private sector. He mentioned about the initiatives by MI in the GMS region particularly in the GMS economic corridor through development of business database for enhancing networking capabilities and which could potentially benefit the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the region. Dr. Watcharas also co-chaired the Annual Meeting of the SiLKS. 

Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta contributed a research paper in the forum on ‘Potentials of International Shipping along Lancang-Mekong River in China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand’. 

The theme of this year’s Forum is “Jointly Building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road for the Promotion of Shared Development and Prosperity through interconnectivity on the Eurasian Continent”. Attending the forum are representatives from different governments, think tanks and enterprises from over 40 countries, as well as members from relevant international organizations and renowned scholars in the world. The Forum had in-depth discussions focusing on the building of international channels for communication through concerted effort, the creation of new mechanism for investment and financing, and the promotion of sustainable development and shared prosperity. 

The Silk Road Think Tank Network (SiLKS) is an informal international network initiated jointly by think tanks, international organizations, and relevant research institutions. Established in October 2015, the SiLKS aims (1) to deepen exchanges and cooperation, (2) draw upon each other’s wisdom and experience, (3) encourage mutual learning, and (4)promote prosperity and stability of the world. 

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