Mekong Institute, Khon Kaen and TCEB Cooperate to Build Thailand as a Hub and Boost Silk Business in Asia
Mekong Institute (MI), Khon Kaen Province, and Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB held the seminar on “Enhancing Silk Sector’s Competitiveness in Technologies and Market through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)” in order to build Thailand to be the international silk trading center and sustainably promote the silk business in Thailand and Asia.
Dr. Watcharas Leelawath, the Director of Mekong Institute (MI) revealed that Thailand is one of the major traders in the silk market of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) apart from China. Currently, the main silk export markets of Thailand are Singapore and Philippines. MI is responsible for promoting, providing knowledge, and gathering domestic and international silk entrepreneurs. Khon Kaen will serve as the operation base for expanding markets to countries in Asia, especially Indonesia, where the buying power is very high. In addition, the launch of AEC will provide more opportunities for Thai silk entrepreneurs to penetrate these markets. To make Thai silk more acceptable in these markets requires the help of technology. There is also added emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility marketing since it is currently the global trend.
“Currently the silk industry in Mekong Sub-region encounters problems and challenges, such as low production, high price of imported silk, quality issues, problem regarding rules and regulations of each nation, especially Corporate Social Responsibility and advancement of technologies. As a result, it is urgent and necessary to boost the silk sector by seeking new channels and directions on the new stage in order to avoid business recession. The trend of the global silk industry nowadays focuses on Corporate Social Responsibility and technologies. Therefore, silk entrepreneurs have to adapt themselves to this new trend, leading to sustainable business growth” said Dr. Watcharas.
Mr. Khamtorn Thavornsatit, Khon Kaen Provincial Governor , also mentioned that Thai silk is well-known and has a long history. It is unique based on locality; especially the silk in the northeast region of Thailand. Khon Kaen is considered to the capital of the northeast region of Thailand due to its competent location and its consistent promotion of the silk industry in Thailand and ASEAN. In particular, MI has collaborated with the Khon Kaen province to promote and create a roadmap since 2013 for the main purpose of supporting Khon Kaen to be the MICE City, the global silk hub in 2016.
Mekong Institute and the Khon Kaen provincial government have since carried out activities promoting Thai silk industry, starting from the first international seminar entitled “Mekong Silk Road.” It has now become the annual activity of Khon Kaen.