Mekong Institute (MI) recently hosted the “Regional Training cum Business Networking on Sustainable Transport and Logistics Planning and Management” on September 25 – October 6, 2017 at MI’s Residential Training Center, Khon Kaen, Thailand. A total of 50 participants from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand (CLMVT) attended the training. Thirty-two were mid-level, senior and management-level logistics operators from the private sector in the CLMVT, while 14 were high level representatives from government and the public sector. Other participants included officers from the Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) and Department of Trade Negotiation, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand, as well as senior professionals from academic and training institutions.
The program was designed to enhance the participants’ knowledge on effective implementation of logistics procedures and services and underscore the significance of sustainable transport and logistics management, as well provide opportunities for business development among the CLMVT participants. The training was commissioned by the TPSO and Department of Trade Negotiation, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand as part of the outcomes of the CLMVT Forum 2016 to enhance and develop the regional trade, investment and tourism relationship between high-level government officials, private sectors and academic institutes in the CLMVT.
The two-week training highlighted the significance of transport and logistics management, contributing to the participants’ knowledge on the effective implementation of logistics procedures and services and providing opportunities for business development. To complement the in-house lectures, structured learning visits were also organized to the Professional ID Driver Training School (Khon Kaen), CP All Public Company Limited (Khon Kaen), SCG Skills Development School (Nakhon Ratchasima), V. Serve Group and Lad Krabang Inland Container Depot (Bangkok).
Meanwhile business networking events were held with members of Thai Logistics for Greater Mekong Subregion Trade Association, Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Thai Industries in Khon Kaen; the Thai SME Federation at the trade event on ASEAN Market for the SMEs in Nakhon Ratchasima Province; and members of the ASEAN Trucking Federation and Thailand International Freight Forwarder Association in Bangkok.
In his congratulatory remarks, Dr. Watcharas Leelawath, Executive Director of Mekong Institute, thanked the Ministry of Commerce for hosting the event and mentioned that future collaboration is critical among all parties. He stated that as key agents of change, the big challenge for the participants is to apply their knowledge post-training.
Outlining the ways forward, Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta, Director of MI’s Trade and Investment Facilitation Department, likewise expressed the hope to see positive impact and changes from the learning acquired from the two-week training program. He also outlined how participants can implement their specific action plans, such as utilizing the action plan in the logistics database (www.logisticsgms.com) set up by MI; supporting policy changes; or for the academic institutions, offering a logistics curriculum, organizing a seminar or writing a research paper.
In the closing remarks of TPSO’s Deputy Director General Mrs. Sureeporn Sahawat, she expressed that she was pleased to hear all participants had learned a great deal. Echoing earlier reflections of Dr. Watcharas Leelawath and Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta, Mrs. Sureeporn stated that participants all have an important role to play in furthering awareness on the importance of transport and logistics management. She assured that TPSO will continue to carry out future projects with more activities aimed at enhancing CLMVT businesses as well as increasing trade cooperation in the region.