“Mekong Institute (MI) remains committed in bridging connectivity through evidence-based studies to help establish innovative, inclusive, and integrated Mekong-Lancang communities.”
This was the statement of Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta, MI’s Director for Trade and Investment Facilitation, at an online dissemination workshop on April 30, 2021 for 76 Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC), government, academic, and think tank officials.
The activity was designed to generate feedback on findings of the “Connectivity Issues for Enhancing Coordination among Mekong-Lancang Countries” study to forge deeper convergence in the areas of logistics systems, transport regulations, and people mobility.
Key recommendations included the establishment of an information sharing tool to keep government officials and private sector representatives abreast of multiple MLC projects; enhanced communication mechanisms and channels for continued feedbacking across the regional and national levels; and advanced capacity building support, particularly in Information Communication Technology.
These findings—which were culled by MI through rigorous research and online consultations with Mekong country nationals beginning in 2020—were analyzed based on the progress of ongoing MLC and other regional frameworks’ projects on railways, roads, waterways, aviation, ports, as well as cross-border e-commerce and other digital technologies to institutionalize deeper connectivity for the seamless and more effective movement of people, goods, and services across the region.
Results from the MI workshop will be consolidated into a final report for submission to governments of Mekong-Lancang countries. The online workshop was completed as part of MI's “Capacity Building for National Coordinators of Mekong-Lancang Cooperation” project, which is implemented in collaboration with Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported by the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Special Fund.