The 2010 GMS Investment and Project Promotion Conference, co-sponsored by the Yunnan Chamber of Commerce, GMS Business Forum and the Mekong institute, was held in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China from 5 to 6 June 2010.
The Conference was organized back to back to the 18th Session of China Import & Export Fair, Kunming, by Yunnan Provincial Chamber of Commerce of China and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, in collaboration with the Mekong Institute (MI) and GMS Business Forum. More than 70 government officials, leaders of chambers of commerce, and well known entrepreneurs in the GMS attended the Conference. Representatives gathered to exchange ideas on economic integration and explored opportunities to enhance cooperation among enterprises in GMS countries.
In her opening speech, Ms. Yang Yanping, Chair of Yunnan Provincial Federation of Industry and Commerce and President of Yunnan Provincial Chamber of Commerce highlighted the role of private enterprises in regional cooperation, and encouraged more dialogues between public and private sectors. Intermediaries like Chambers of Commerce can serve as a platform of information exchange and conflicts arbitration, and should play a bigger part in fostering concrete deals.
Dr. Suchat Katima, Director of Mekong Institute, concurred with Ms Yang on her comments on the private sector, and said that one of the main stumbling blocks of trade facilitation is the lack of active participation of provincial and district Chambers of Commerce and SME Associations along the economic corridors. Assessment suggested that these institutions have varied capacities and actions should be taken to address the organizational gaps. Dr. Suchat informed the audience that MI is collaborating with the National Chambers of Commerce along the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) to improve cooperation and build closer business relationship among all concerned stakeholders.