The 3rd Mekong – ROK Business Forum was held on July 10th 2015 at Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence under the theme “Launch of AEC – Opportunities for Mekong – ROK Trade and Investment” by the Council for the Development of Cambodia in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea presided over by H.E. Mr. Sok Siphana, Advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Council for the Development of Cambodia, and H.E. Mr. Lee Tae-ho, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. The forum was attended by around 150 participants from relevant ministries and agencies, chamber of commerce, and private sectors from the Republic of Korea and Mekong countries – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The 3rd Mekong – ROK Business Forum was organized to promote trade and investment between Mekong countries and the Republic of Korea. In his opening remark, H.E. Mr. Sok Siphana welcomes Mekong countries’ increasing trade and investment opportunities with major partners that come along with the ASEAN Economic Community, particularly with the Republic of Korea which is one of the major partners of ASEAN as well as the integration of Mekong region into the regional and global supply chain. Meanwhile, in his congratulatory remark, H.E. Mr. Lee Tae-ho emphasizes the cooperation between Mekong countries and the Republic of Korea which Korea is prepared to provide support in the economic, political, social, and cultural development of the Mekong region and that Mekong countries can learn from the Korean development experience. His Excellency cites the organization of the forum as an evidence of interest from Korean investors toward the Mekong region. Many Korean companies have moved their production base from China to the Mekong region. Trade between the Republic of Korea and the Mekong region has doubled from 248 billion US dollar to 487 billion US dollar in between 2010 and 2014 while investment has increased by 50% from 221 billion US dollar to 320 billion US dollar.
The forum provides an invaluable opportunity for both the public and private sector of the Republic of Korea and Mekong countries to share experience, vision, opportunities, concern, and to discuss on (1) the updated business environment in the Mekong, incentives for trade and investment and (2) creating trade and investment opportunity between Mekong sub-region and the Republic of Korea for SMEs. At the end of the forum, businesspeople from the Republic of Korea and Mekong countries attended the one-on-one business matching session. Participants exchanged information about opportunities for trade and investment in the Mekong region as well as market access. The business matching was attended by around 30 companies from Korea and 40 companies from Mekong countries.