Khon Kaen, Thailand – October 23, 2023 – Mekong Institute (MI), with support from the People's Government of Yunnan Province of the People's Republic of China, kicked off a seven-day workshop cum structured learning visit (SLV) aimed at advancing regional logistics and transportation infrastructure in the Lancang-Mekong (LM) Region, with a specific focus on enhancing connectivity along the China-Lao PDR-Thailand Railway routes.
The workshop brought together 23 high-ranking delegates representing various sectors, including transportation, industries, and commerce from the LM region. Participants will embark on on-site visits to special economic zones (SEZ), industrial zones, and logistics parks in Thailand and Lao PDR from October 23 to 29 2023.
The visits intend to facilitate the identification and evaluation of the current state of transit via the China-Lao PDR-Thailand railway and its connected multimodal transport channels. Ultimately, the SLV aims to inform the development of a comprehensive roadmap, outlining strategies in anticipation of the forthcoming China-Lao PDR-Thailand Railways project. The activity also seeks to promote coordination in order to establish seamless trade facilitation measures and multimodal transport and logistics channels in the region.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Liu Hongmei, Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Khon Kaen, Thailand, highlighted the crucial role of P. R. China in advancing connectivity and trade. She reflected on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has reached more than 150 countries and engaged 30 international organizations in the past decade. Ms. Liu emphasized the BRI's commitment to enhancing connectivity, which has facilitated the seamless flow of commodities, capital, technology, and personnel through vital transportation routes and information networks.
MI’s Director of the Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) Department, Mr. Madhurjya Dutta, emphasized the workshop's objectives in fostering learning and knowledge-sharing. He also highlighted the importance of the transformative power of operational segments like the China-Lao PDR-Thailand transportation networks. He invited participants to explore the challenges and opportunities these networks bring for regional development and growth.
The course also provides a platform to share the key findings of the China-Lao PDR-Thailand Railway Assessment Report developed by MI, wherein participants have contributed invaluable insights.
After concluding the extensive SLV, participants are expected to be primed to formulate feasible national strategies, identifying promising trade and investment prospects within multimodal transport and logistics channels.