Over 70 representatives of the six GMS governments, development partners, national and international organizations involved in regional development participated in MI Stakeholders's Consultative Meeting in Khon Kaen on 1st July 2009 to map out the future for the Institute.
Entitled Facing the Challenges as an Inter-governmental Organization, MIs stakeholders congregated to discuss the opportunities and challenges it will face when it becomes a full-fledged IGO. Group discussions on program expansion and financial sustainability were conducted and their valuable suggestions will be used to inform MIs next strategic plan.In his keynote speech, Dr Narongchai Akrasanee, Chairman of MI Steering Committee, says, I truly believe in building human resource capacity for regional development and cooperation. MI was first established as development assistance project of Thailand and New Zealand to train senior government officials of the GMS countries on how to manage economic transition from centrally planned economy to free market economy. Throughout the years MI has trained more than 3,000 professionals and the impact of MI human resource development program is felt by the successful transition and fast development in the sub-region. The Meeting also witnessed the handover of MI Council Chairmanship from Vietnam to the Yunnan Province of China. Mr Gu Zhaoxi, Vice Governor of Yunnan Province of PRC, replaced Mr Hoang Viet Khang of Vietnam to become the new chairman of MIs governing body.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Gu says, GMS Economic Cooperation cannot be achieved by infrastructure development alone. Human Resource Development is the most critical success factor in achieving and sustaining true GMS cooperation and integration. Our GMS spirit is high because we are willing to integrate our economy across the border, and because we know the importance of economic cooperation and value it.