With support from the People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China, Mekong Institute (MI) conducted the “Digital Connectivity in the Lancang-Mekong Countries” workshop, which provided a knowledge sharing platform to discuss issues and experiences related to digital connectivity in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) sector.
Held online from December 20 to 22, the workshop focused on successful experiences in digital technology application and policy advocacy and support from governments, in line with the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals despite the Covid-19 pandemic in the Lancang-Mekong countries.
MI and P.R. China brought together 41 representatives from various government agencies, business groups, and non-governmental organizations to share findings and recommendations on strengthening policy guidance and support on promoting digitalization in the MSMEs sector.
The participants specifically: discussed on the current condition, issues, and challenges associated with digital connectivity; exchange views on the barriers to adoption and enhancement of digital connectivity by MSMEs; and identify potential actions to facilitate regional cooperation in the Lancang-Mekong countries.
“China will strengthen the joint efforts with its sub-regional partners to advance high-quality Belt and Road Initiative cooperation and Lancang-Mekong Cooperation and to promote digital transformation of MSMEs and digital connectivity in the sub-region,” Mr. Ke Yousheng, Permanent Representative of China to UNESCAP said in his opening remarks.
Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, Executive Director of MI, emphasized the importance of sharing experiences through workshops and policy advocacy in order for the Lancang-Mekong countries to develop a repository of knowledge products and a platform for promoting innovative pandemic preparedness and response. “In these challenging times, digital transformation holds enormous potential to support growth, promote innovation, and facilitate connectivity in time of COVID-19,” he shared.
This is the first workshop under MI’s “Fostering Digital Connectivity in the Lancang-Mekong Countries” project.