The regional training program, Enhancing the Utilization of ASEAN FTAs, Trade Negotiation and Trade Policy Development, was successfully concluded on the Friday, 3 August. The two-week training program, held at the Mekong Institutes (MI) residential training facility in Khon Kaen, constitutes one section of MIs three-year, Capacity Development Program for Integrating CLMV Economies into AEC, sponsored by the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP).
Thirty two participants from the public and private sectors of the six Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries (Cambodia, P.R. China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) took part in the program. Participants were from a wide range of organizations and associations and included senior-to-mid-level officials from ministries of commerce, various industry associations, chambers of commerce and industry, and associations of importers and exporters.
Training actively engaged participants in various learning activities including plenary discussions, group work assignments and presentations. As part of the course, participants took field trips to Kumphawapi Sugar Co., Ltd., and the headquarters of the Federation of Thai Industries in Khon Kaen Province, (Thailand). These first-hand learning experiences greatly enhanced participants understanding of how best-practices are implemented and used in real working situations.
During the two weeks, participants worked together to jointly prepare and develop action plans to be implemented upon return to their respective home countries. These action plans put into practice the knowledge and skills gained during the training program and will assist in developing web-based knowledge platforms for enhancing the usage of ASEAN FTAs by SME exporters, as well as enhancing the trade negotiation and trade policy skills of governmental officials in the six GMS countries.
MI will continue to provide technical assistance to participants during the implementation phase of the action plans, and will continue to monitor and evaluate the success and impact of the plans for use in future training courses.