From 2 to 3 August 2018, the 2018 Mekong Forum was held in Khon Kaen, Thailand. The forum, with the theme of “turn arounds and takeoffs: speeding up competitiveness and connectivity in the GMS”, was hosted by Mekong Institute (MI). More than 200 participants attended the event, including government officials from GMS countries, representatives of diplomatic corps in Thailand, international organizations, NGOs, enterprises, the academia and media. Honored guests including Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee, former Minister of Energy and Minister of Commerce of Thailand, Chairman of Mekong Institute Steering Committee, Dr. Watcharas Leelawath, Executive Director of MI, Mr. Zhang Guohua, Vice Governor of Yunan province of China, attended the forum and delivered remarks. They spoke highly of the positive role the Mekong Forum has played in promoting regional peace, stability, development and prosperity since its inception, and called on the GMS countries and other relevant countries to continue to uphold the principle of win-win cooperation, positively respond to the opportunities and challenges brought by new trends such as the 4th industrial revolution, make full use of the regional cooperation mechanisms, adhere to open cooperation, join hands to substantially enhance competitiveness and connectivity of the sub-region through interconnected, innovative and inclusive development, so as to benefit the people of all countries and make new contributions to the social and economic prosperity and development of ASEAN and Asia-Pacific region as a whole. Participants conducted lively discussions on topics such as“examining the growth momentum challenges”,“scaling up competitiveness with innovation”and “harnessing development cooperation for stronger connectivity”.
Representatives from ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) attended the forum upon invitation and had extensive exchanges with the participants by briefing on ACC’s efforts to promote ASEAN-China relations.