"Technology and innovation are pillars of economic development because they help increase efficiency, encourage new businesses and advance communications."
This was the statement of Mr. Li Hong, Permanent Representative of P.R. China to UNESCAP and a member of the Mekong Institute (MI) Steering Committee during the opening session of the Technology and Innovation Policy Development in the Lancang-Mekong Region consultation workshop at the MI Training Center in Khon Kaen, Thailand.
Held from November 18 to 20, 2019, MI convened 30 senior government officials, academics and scientists from Cambodia, P.R. China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam to deliberate on current technology and innovation policy needs and capacities of Lancang-Mekong member countries.
Findings from the workshop will feed into a capacity building program targeted to boost efficiency, productivity and competitiveness of each member country’s sectoral industries, ranging from agriculture, social services, commercialization, electronics, business process outsourcing, telecommunications, among others.
Dr. Watcharas Leelawath, MI Executive Director, commended government officials and other participants for their commitment in leveraging technology and innovation to foster a more economically integrated and competitive Lancang-Mekong region.
“Policy makers are essential to create a conducive environment to advance technology and innovation. Your commitment will strengthen knowledge-based economies. Thus, helping to reduce poverty,” he said.
In the Lancang-Mekong region, different approaches, regulations and investments in innovation and technology created varied degrees of sectoral growth and efficiency in government and business operations.
As such, MI’s consultation workshop aimed to build common understanding of each countries’ innovation and technology policies and needs, while providing a platform for strategic collaborative action to meet national and regional development goals.
The MI activity was funded by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.