Thailand’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office invites interested persons to join CLMVT+ Forum 2021

Thailand’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office invites interested persons to join CLMVT+ Forum 2021

Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) would like to invite interested persons to join the “CLMVT+ Forum 2021”. Entitled “Accelerating a Resilient Recovery”, the forum is scheduled between 24-26 August 2021, through zoom webinar. Aiming to be a discussion forum to find directions towards economic rehabilitation of Cambodia, Laos PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand on a resilient path, participants from the private and the public sectors, academics and international organisations will share ideas and visions to build frameworks that enhance collaboration in the region. The forum also showcases a pitching competition for startups to promote a conducive ecosystem for startups which will drive economic development in CLMVT.

Key themes for discussion are part of findings from TPSO’s “CLMVT+Plus: Enhancing Trade and Investment for the Future” study, which emphasises the importance of achieving an even economic recovery in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). The study showed that developing economies will benefit significantly from improving cross-border trade by using digital technology to increase competitiveness of the private sector’s role as an important medium of regional cooperation. To achieve this, they should ensure there is no discrepancy in rules and regulations on cross-border activities with one another to reduce operating costs. The study also urges the CLMVT countries to strengthen cooperation under the framework of regional free trade agreements, including ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which aim at removing tax and non-tax trade barriers. Importantly, the public sector has to support their micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to grow in a sustainable manner in the era of digital commerce. The policy for MSMEs in the CLMVT countries should start with providing financial support programmes to assist their business rehabilitation in the near term. After that, CLMVT countries should implement measures to improve their digital skills and enhance their access to the regional market. Above all, measures to promote startups are necessary as they will create an ecosystem that will redefine the CLMVT economy, including transformation from a manufacturing base to an innovation-driven economy. Another challenge facing the CLMVT region is to push forward environmentally friendly trade and investment, as the issues have not been widely discussed in the region. In this respect, CLMVT needs to educate their public and the private sectors and drive transformation towards low-carbon logistics systems.

CLMVT+ Forum 2021 will take place for three days, starting on 24 August 2021. The first discussion session of the forum, entitled “CLMVT in the post-pandemic era”, will be participated by representatives from across sectors, including Mr. Joe Horn-Phathanothai, Founder & CEO, Strategy613; Dr. Soraphol Tulayasathien, Senior Executive Vice President/ Head of Corporate Strategy Division, The Stock Exchange of Thailand; Dr. Somprawin Manprasert, Chief Economist and Executive Vice President, Bank of Ayudhya; Dr. Krislert Samphantharak, Professor of Economics, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy and representative from Asian Development Bank. In the afternoon session, the discussion entitled “Belt and Road Initiative & Build Back Better World: A Delicate Dance with the Major Powers” will be participated by academic and business representatives from CLMVT countries. 

 On 25 August 2021, CLMVT+ Forum 2021 will feature discussion sessions on three topics, namely, “Megatrends Shaping the Future of Trade and Investment”; “Impact from COVID-19 on Supply Chain and Roads to Economic Recovery” and “Technology adoption in the New Normal and Ways to Foster Startups in CLMVT”, in which the audience will hear insights from the business sector, government agencies and international development agencies.

After two days of discussion forums, the forum will showcase its first ever startup competition. Aptly entitled, “Battle of Startups 2021”, the competition will represent a venue for 8-10 aspiring startups across CLMVT countries in key sectors such as farming, food, healthcare, education and logistics, to pitch their ideas to a panel. The winning startups will receive a cash prize of 100,000 baht or approximately US$3,000  

The CLMVT+ Forum 2021 is part of Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce’s efforts to build a forum to promote collaboration in trade and investment across five CLMVT countries. The theme “Accelerating a Resilient Recovery” reflects Thailand’s commitment to strengthen collaboration with the other four countries and the group’s major trade partners to restore the CLMVT countries after the COVID-19 pandemic, leading with the economy. On top of that, Thailand aims to promote connectivity of trade within the group to position the region as one of the world’s most attractive destinations for investment with the most reslience to adapt to upcoming global challenges.

CLMVT Forum is the region’s prime discussion forum showcasing thought leaders across the region in economic development, trade and investment. Despite the current challenges, Thailand remains confident in the prospects and potential of these five countries with their resilient manufacturing base, growing markets, highly-skilled workforces, and large consumer market of 244 million people, thereby restoring its positioning as one of the world’s most promising trade and investment destinations.

Interested parties may register for participation at https://qrgo.page.link/utCC4. Startups interested to join “Battle of Startups 2021” may contact clmvt2021@gmail.com or +6609-2520-9121 for more details.

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