The Mekong Institute in collaboration with Khon Kaen Provincial Government, the Queen Sirikit Department of Sericulture and Chambers of Commerce along East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) organised an international seminar cum business matching on "Mekong Silk Road" on 27 – 28 November 2013 at Rachawadee Resort and Hotel, Khon Kaen, Thailand. The seminar was sponsored by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), under the project entitled "Enhancing Provincial and Local Chambers of Commerce Capacities in Trade and Investment Facilitation along EWEC".
The seminar aimed to provide an opportunity for SME silk production groups, silk producers and traders, government agencies promoting small and medium businesses (SMEs) promotion, and members of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry along EWEC and beyond to foster their business networking capability and long-term business cooperation. It also intended to enhance the silk business competitiveness along EWEC in the backdrop of ASEAN Economic Community 2015 and facilitate the silk trade and investment opportunity through the International Silk Festival, "Pook Xiao" Tradition and Red Cross Fair in Khon Kaen.
Around 90 delegates from Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and China and attended the seminar along with thirteen silk experts. The seminar was divided into two parts On the first day of the seminar important topics related to International silk business and Silk Innovation was discussed through presentations by experts from the region.
On the second day, a structured learning visit cum business-to-business matching was organized "Chonnabot" silk cluster in Khon Kaen to learn best practices in silk industry.
An exhibition was organized to display silk products from the region with an aim to show case innovative products and promote business matching. A number of business collaboration was initiated among the silk business owners mostly on silk yarn supply, silk processing and silk pattern design among China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.