Professor Daniel J. Mitterhoff, President of Lancang-Mekong Graduate College of Law Project, which is a part of China-Mekong Law Center in Maryland, United States, interested in forming a Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) law school in Yunnan Province, Southern part of China. He visited the Mekong Institute (MI) on December 20, 2013 to explore an opportunity to develop a partnership. His visit was received by Dr. Jean-Pierre Verbiest, MI's Acting Director, Dr. Buasawan Simmala, Technical Coordination and Communication, and Ms. Pornwilai Pumira, Associate Program Manager. He revealed to us that he knew about MI through reading the institute's website. Since MI is owned by six GMS countries and focuses on human resource development in the sub-region, it would be a beneficial if his law center could form a collaborative working relationship.
Dr. Verbiest noted that knowledge on legal issues is especially important for GMS countries as they have been increasingly connected to each other by different economic corridors. For example, in order to effectively use East-West Economic Corridor, the highway connecting Danang Province, to Mawlamyine State of Myanmar through Laos and Thailand, it needs regional rules and laws governing all economic and social activities conducted within the sub-region. Therefore, Professor Mitterhoff's initiative is appealing for MI.
Prior visiting MI, Professor Mitterhoff met with Professor Dr. Apirat Petchsiri, Dean Of Faculty of Law, Khon Kaen University, who accompanied him while he visited MI. He thanked MI for welcoming his initiative and expressed his hope to develop a collaborating relationship with the institute.