The Mekong Institute (MI) with the support of the Khon Kaen Provincial Government successfully hosted "The International Seminar cum Business Matching on Silk Development" from 12 to 13 September 2014. This event was composed of three main activities - seminar, business matching and silk exhibition. The event also provided an e-networking platform- www.aseansilkbiz.com for players in the silk industry to identify and find their potential business partners. This e-platform comprises of an e-directory of company profiles and product catalogues of participating companies.
The event aimed to promote silk business networks, facilitate business and trade among silk sellers, buyers and intermediaries in the ASEAN and other neighboring countries.
Over 180 participants attended the event, covering small silk production groups of Thailand (from Roi-et, Khon Kaen, Mahasarakham and Kalasin provinces), medium-to-large silk manufacturers, producers, exporters and importers, designers, intermediaries, government agencies related to silk promotion from the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries and India.
A total of 15 guest speakers experts including panel discussants mainly from Thailand, China, Cambodia and India were invited to deliver presentations and share their expertise in silk productivity improvement, silk branding and marketing, silk export development and silk standards, certification and regulations.
At the end of the seminar, the participants discussed about the establishment of the "ASEAN Silk Alliance" as a platform of the ASEAN silk business model to promote the regional silk network and facilitate industrial information-sharing. In particular, the participants were divided into groups to focus on discussion topics of organizational structure, mission and vision, services, and communication platform. In addition, through the business matching session, a number of business collaborations were initiated among the participating silk companies, mostly in importing of spun silk fabric, silk processing (silk protein skin care), and silk pattern design. The successful conclusion of this event has prompted the Mekong Institute and the Khon Kaen province to announce their firm intention to continue such seminar and business matching on a yearly basis. Next year's event is expected to be held in September 2015 in Khon Kaen, Thailand.