Trade and investment Facilitation (TIF)

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Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Growth for Regional Cooperation and Integration

Removal of trade barriers has contributed to the expansion of global trade in the recent years and the bilateral and multilateral trade agreements further accentuated the importance of trade facilitation process. This gave the opportunity for producers to offer their goods and services to more customers and consumers have more choices, lower prices and access to innovations. Open markets increased the prospects of producing and selling new ideas and products locally, regionally and in global markets, which leads to more income opportunities and the improvement of living standards.

Trade facilitation can provide important opportunities for GMS countries by increasing the benefits from open trade and contributing to economic growth and poverty reduction. The development of economic corridors in the Greater Mekong Sub region (GMS) and integration initiatives such as ASEAN Economic Community (AEC 2015) highlights the importance of complementary measures related to policies and institutions in regional trade. It is widely acknowledged that; for GMS countries to have better market access to global trade are insufficient unless the capabilities to trade are addressed more timely and effectively. While the economic philosophies in the GMS countries have changed to become more market oriented, there is a constant shortage of capacities in the Government and Private sector organizations involved in trade and investment promotion activities to meet with the requirements of up adequate knowledge and information to participate effectively in the globalization process.

Our Aim

The aim of the TIF Department is not simply to expand trade but also to focus on the broader goal of sustainable and inclusive economic growth for regional cooperation and integration. The expectation is that economic growth becomes a catalyst for poverty reduction by creating more and broad-based job and income opportunities. To achieve this, the TIF Department focuses on establishing and fostering an enabling environment for SMEs by addressing the entire trade value chain through engaging with business associations, Chamber of Commerce and Government agencies involved in trade and SME development in the GMS countries.

Focus Areas

  • Strengthen capacities of governments and the private sector in trade promotion and investment facilitation
  • Support the integration of SMEs into regional and global value chains
  • Enhance competitiveness of the logistics sector
  • Create business information service platforms to widen networking among business groups and companies in local, regional, and international markets
  • Promote foreign direct investments and other business links


  • Design and coaching on need-based capacity building programmes for specific target groups in the Government and private sector particularly the Chamber of Commerce and Business associations
  • Conduct action research and policy research on trade, SME and logistic development
  • Inform policy makers on current trends, issues on trade and investment through policy dialogues and forums
  • Conduct structured learning visits for Business-to-Business development
  • Promote regional integration through networking and other regional and sub regional cooperation initiatives in trade and investment
  • Follow an impact creating project approach though modular based training and training the trainers

Contact Information

Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta
Director, Trade and Investment Facilitation Department, Mekong Institute
Email: dutta(at)

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