Background : CLMVT Forum 2018

A New Growth Engine in Asia

A region bustling with opportunities, the CLMVT countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand) are going through a momentous time together. With official commencement of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) on 31 December 2015, five members of ASEAN which are situated on the mainland Asia and share long historical and cultural ties as well as physical border together, are set to be the main beneficiaries of the Single Market and Production Base with free movement of goods and greater liberalization of services, investment and professional workforce. With a combined population of 235 million, average per capita income of 2,927 USD and average growth rate of 5.8 percent between 2011-2014, the CLMVT at first glance may not look like an economic force to be reckoned with. However, a closer look reveals that this is truly an emerging region as it is indeed packed with many exciting possibilities.

CLMVT is strategically located in Asia, it has a growing and relatively youthful population, the low internet penetration rate means that further development of e-commerce and all things digital is possible, and the shared borders with similar but distinct cultures and exotic environment can open ways for integrated regional tourism development. All these point to the myriad opportunities for greater trade, investment and businesses particularly in logistics, infrastructure, communications, technology, travel-related and food industries. With most countries experiencing global economic downturns, the CLMVT countries are doing surprisingly well as their trade, investment and tourism are slowly building up together. Indeed, the CLMVT looks set to become Asia's New Growth Engine. It is their time to shine.

With most countries experiencing global economic downturns, the CLMVT countries are doing surprisingly well as their trade, investment and tourism are slowly building up together. Indeed, the CLMVT looks set to become Asia's New Growth Engine. It is their time to shine. Recognising potentials of the CLMVT region, the Ministry of Commerce of the Kingdom of Thailand, in collaboration with Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Tourism and Sport, and the Board of Investment is excited to organize the first-ever forum dedicated to CLMVT, "The CLMVT Forum 2016: Towards a Shared Prosperity" from 16-18 June 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand. The main objective of the Forum is to strengthen our shared prosperity in line with sustainable development principle and to build regional networks among top business people, new entrepreneurs, leading policy makers, academics and younger generations of the CLMVT countries.Guided by the main theme "Towards a Shared Prosperity", the Forum will focus on four areas which form the most pressing and relevant themes to future development of CLMVT.

Preparing for Now and the Future

(1) Unleashing CLMVT : Global Perspective on CLMVT Potentials

Prominent business leaders from non-CLMVT countries are invited to give their views on how they see CLMVT's future development, what are the potentials and shortcomings that need to be addressed in order to attain the goal of becoming the new Asian Growth Engine. Particular emphasis will be given to "Regional Connectivity" and "Global Value Chain" as well as "Inclusive Tourism" issues since they are some of the key strengths of the CLMVT countries that could be further harnessed.

(2) Unlocking CLMVT : Creating a Single, Seamless Region

This session aims to address key issues that might hamper CLMVT's effort to arrive at a Single, Seamless Region as foreseen by the ASEAN Economic Community. The Roundtable Discussion will take place in 3 parallel rooms each focusing on trade, investment and tourism and will address barriers or gaps in those areas and how to find solutions for a better integration of the CLMVT. Participants in these parallel meetings will comprise top businessmen as well as ministers of trade, industry and tourism from each country.

(3) Quality CLMVT : Creating a Vibrant Business Environment and Good Living

Not only should CLMVT countries aim for increased trade and investment but they must also ensure that their most valuable assets - their people and the quality of their lives - are well taken care of. This session will focus on how to nurture their budding startups and entrepreneurs, develop their human resources and how to enhance people's health together with their fastest growing sector - tourism.

(4) Digital CLMVT : Supporting Digital Infrastructure in CLMVT

Lastly, CLMVT must contemplate on how to make the digital age most advantageous for their future regional development. Whist there may not be many well-known tech startups or e-commerce providers from CLMVT, there is a great potential among the younger generation within the region. Discussion will cover issues ranging from e-tourism, e- transaction, e-commerce trading to experience-sharing with CLMVT tech and communication companies.

Bringing Together the Top Minds of CLMVT

The CLMVT Forum 2016 is an invitation-only event that will bring together for the first time prominent business people, "tycoons," from each country together with young or new entrepreneurs, top policymakers in trade, investment and tourism and some leading academics. Most of the sessions will be conducted in the informal atmosphere to stimulate candid discussion and participation as much as possible. It aims to become an annual event where Only the Best of the CLMVT can meet, brainstorm, share ideas and network together for a better future of the region.