A group of 35 government officials from the Department of Agricultural Extension, Ministry of Agriculture of Thailand, visited the Mekong Institute (MI) last September 23, 2011. These officials were taking part in a 2-day training program entitled: Producing and Developing Tutor in Extension Work.
They came to MI to be informed about the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) Economic Cooperation Program and what MI does to uplift the thrusts of this region, especially when it came to agriculture.
They also were interested in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015, and the practice of the English language skill to support their extension work. As an international organization running on the English language, MI was the perfect place for them to experience this. The MI Director, Dr Suchat Katima, during his presentation on the GMS said: We used to think were the best in this region, and that we can stand alone. Today, we cant say this anymore. We depend on our neighbors as much as they depend on us,. He added: The AEC is coming. Soon, we will have free flow of goods and services across Southeast Asia. This is why we must develop the capacity our farmers, and business owners to be able to compete in the global market. Aside from this, the delegates were given presentations on MIs background and organizational structure. They were also shown the activities that MI does in the GMS, including the preparation for the AEC 2015. To make this visit helpful and inspiring for the delegates, MI assisted by providing the delegates with an opportunity to introduce themselves in English. With this, they were able to take home with them more confidence in using English, which can be useful to their line of work.