Monday January 10, 2021 at 13:30 p.m. – Khon Kaen University joined Thailand American Studies Association and the United States Embassy in Thailand to hold an online seminar on: “The Post-Pandemic of Mekong Development: How U.S. synergizes with Partners in the Sub-Region?” by Zoom. Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University; Mr. Kevin McCown, Political Officer and representative from the US Embassy; and Asst. Prof. Anucha Jintakanon, Acting Director of the American Studies Association welcomed the over 100 online participants from government and private sectors.
Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University said at the opening ceremony, “Mekong links Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is thus an important strategic point, not only for the countries in the Mekong region, but also other countries that have to rely on the road network, rail, and ships, for travelling and transporting goods. During the past decades, the enormous resources around Mekong attracted various countries to invest and develop the Mekong region. Not only the physical dimension has been developed, but also the social, economic, political, and the living of the people along the basin.”
“Development of Mekong river basin from the past until today has been done by a lot of external countries that established different funds in order to help the member countries of Mekong to strengthen their capacities in human resources such as digital development, promotion of trading and investment, economic development, border trade development, water management and building of connection and sustainable development.”
“Covid-19 pandemic and globalization itself have made the developmental dimensions of Mekong region more complex and challenging. Thailand as the geographical joint and a key member of Mekong region must plan the next steps of cooperation and the roles to take in the development of the collaboration in different aspects in the future after Covid-19. This online seminar of Mekong development is therefore an important stage to discuss collaboration for rehabilitating the countries in the region concretely,” said Assoc. Prof. Charnchai.
After the opening ceremony, Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee, Chairman of Khon Kaen University and Mrs. Arunrung Phothong Humpries, Ministry Ambassador, gave special talks as the keynote speakers. Following the talks, there was a round-table discussion, where speakers included Asst. Prof. Romyen Kosaiyakanon, Ph.D., a lecturer of the Management Institute of Mae Fa Luang University; Dr. Vacharasmi Seelawat, Honorary Advisor of Bolliger & Company (Thailand) and a former director of the Mekong Institute; Assoc. Prof. Phuphet Kiawpilawong, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, National University of Laos; Asst. Prof. Santi Chaisrisawatsuk, Ph.D., from the Faculty of Economic Development, the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA); and Assoc. Prof. Teerawat Charoenrat, Ph.D., from the Faculty of Multidisciplinary Studies and Director of the Center for Development of Entrepreneurs and Innovation of Khon Kaen University. The round-table discussion was moderated by Khun Warin Sajjadev. The session received a lot of interest from audience, before the event closed at 16:30 p.m.
News / Photos: Watchara Noichompoo