- Press Releases
7th Mekong-ROK Business Forum Held
1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (ROK), together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, held the 7th Mekong-ROK Business Forum in Bangkok, Thailand, on Thursday, October 17. The Forum brought together about 100 participants including businessmen from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and relevant government officials from the ROK and five Mekong countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam. Deputy Minister for Political Affairs Yoon Soon-gu of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand Nikorndej Balankura attended the event as respective heads of delegations.
○ The ROK delegation, consisting of a group of businessmen from about 20 Korean SMEs organized by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), participated in the Forum.
○ The Mekong-ROK Business Forum was set up in 2013 with an aim to strengthen public-private cooperation between the two sides and to enhance substantive achievements through more active exchanges of businessmen between the two sides. The events have so far taken place once a year on a rotating basis between the ROK and five Mekong countries.
2. At the Forum, under the theme “Enhancing SMEs Innovation Capacity,” the participants introduced corporate environments of the respective participating countries, and discussed ways forward for the SMEs to advance based on innovative technology.
○ The Forum consisted of two sessions -- “innovation, competitiveness and economic growth of the SMEs” and “inclusive and sustainable growth of the SMEs” -- and in particular, the ROK and the Mekong businessmen explored opportunities to create businesses through one-on-one business meetings.
3. In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister Yoon mentioned that in 2019 alone President Moon Jae-in visited four Mekong countries and unveiled the ROK-Mekong Vision for mutual prosperity, and that we are expecting the 1st Mekong-ROK Summit to take place this November. He went on to say that the ROK government considers cooperation with the Mekong countries highly significant in pursuit of the ROK’s New Southern Policy.
○ Deputy Minister Yoon also said that the ROK government puts emphasis on cooperation with the Mekong countries in the course of development of the Korean SMEs as can be seen from the launching ceremony of Brand K, an official trademark for goods produced by Korean SMEs, held during President Moon’s visit to Thailand in early September, and commended the Business Forum as a helpful opportunity to step up bilateral cooperation.
4. Ahead of the inaugural Mekong-ROK Summit set to take place this November, the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs is providing substantive opportunities to promote exchanges of and cooperation between the SMEs of the ROK and the Mekong countries by hosting a seminar on promoting cooperation between SMEs of both sides (Theme: Nurturing and supporting SMEs in Mekong region and building platforms for exchanges and cooperation for helping businesses enter each other’s markets), a Mekong-ROK business forum, and one-on-one business meetings.
○ In particular, the ROK Foreign Ministry will continue its efforts to produce outcomes that would foster cooperation between the ROK and Mekong businessmen
at the Mekong-ROK Summit (November 27, Busan) which is to take place in about