Khon Kaen, Thailand—Mekong Institute (MI) brings together key government officials from relevant national agencies in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV) for the Regional Consultation Workshop on Promoting Food Safety in CLMV. Held from October 11–12, the workshop is part of the regional Food Safety Project implemented by MI with assistance from the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP).
Nineteen officials from partner ministries in CLMV were invited to share local experiences on food safety regulation in their respective countries. The workshop intends to identify best practices, challenges, and possible areas of collaboration in securing food safety in the region.
Dr. Watcharas Leelawath, MI Executive Director, welcomed the participants and discussed how the Food Safety Project is aligned with MI’s current priorities and targets, including the MI Strategic Plan 2016–2020. Dr. Leelawath also emphasized that MI has been fostering a good relationship with the government and development partners from New Zealand and that this Project seeks to strengthen this mutual partnership.
Ms. Natthanun Patcharapunchai of the NZAP, on the other hand, briefly explained key targets of the Project. She also highlighted that this initiative ultimately aims to go beyond building local capacities in the region. Ms. Patcharapunchai encouraged the participants to look beyond the number of trainings to be provided and instead, think of long-term strategies to sustainably promote Food Safety in their respective countries.
The two-day workshop will also review the training needs and priorities initially identified in country visits and training needs assessment recently conducted by MI together with partner organizations. As a major output of this consultation workshop, strategic plans of action will also be developed by the CLMV delegates.