“With this new cooperation, Mekong Institute looks forward to being able to contribute more significantly and continuously towards sustainable development and poverty reduction in the region,” MI Executive Director Dr. Watcharas Leelawath said during the recently held signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information (ISTI) of the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS). The MoU signing, which took place last July 1 at the CATAS headquarters in Haikou, Hainan province, P.R. China, formalizes the new cooperation agreement between the two organizations in the area of agricultural research.
Affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, ISTI, CATAS is the only national research institution engaged in research on tropical agriculture economy, information innovation and public welfare service. Among its major undertakings is the setting up of the Going Global Innovation Teams for Agricultural Big Data & Applications, and Agricultural Development & International Trade with the objective of pioneering policy research in these fields.
Dr. Watcharas Leelawath and Mr. Zhao Songlin, Secretary of ISTI, CATAS, signed the five-year cooperation agreement that provides for joint research and projects on agricultural policies, investment and trade, digital economy, and information technology and big data in the Lancang-Mekong countries; as well as personnel and information exchange. In view of broader objectives of promoting agricultural international cooperation, the MoU also provides for the joint establishment of an Agricultural Development Research Base in the Lancang-Mekong region
Remarking on ISTI’s partnerships with scientific research institutions in the Lancang-Mekong countries, Mr. Zhao Songlin described its cooperation agreement with MI as a way to “further deepen the development level of tropical agricultural science and technology” as well as promote cooperation and friendship between the two institutes.
Dr. Liu Haiqing, Deputy Director General of the International Cooperation Division of CATAS, likewise described their Institute’s close partnerships with Thailand in agricultural research and training with a number of Thai universities. This new partnership with MI can further deepen the Institute’s good relationship with Thailand, he added.