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CLMVT forums generate high social return on investment: study


The Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand (CLMVT) Forum has helped generate social returns as high as 4.49 times the value of the project, the Trade Policy and Strategy Office at the Ministry of Commerce said. 


On May 12, the TPSO, together with the Faculty of Economics at Kasetsart University organised a webinar to disseminate the research results of the social return on investment (SROI) of the CLMVT Forum.

More than 250 participants attended the webinar, Ronnarong Phoolpipat, director of TPSO who opened the webinar, said. 


The TPSO had been organising the CLMVT Forum since 2016 to facilitate discussions and exchange of ideas among high-level public, private, and academic sectors in the region.

"CLMVT forums have generated several benefits to the region, such as increasing human capital capability for the digital age and creating new business entrepreneurs to make CLMVT a new supply-chain centre of the world.

“The CLMVT Forum is a government project that generates tangible benefits and positive social returns to society. The TPSO hopes that the CLMVT Forum will continue to be a part of the mechanism that supports the Thai economy and the CLMVT region to grow strongly and play an important role in Asean and the world's economic system in the future," Ronnarong said.

Ronnarong Phoolpipat, Director of Trade Policy  and Strategy Office

Montchai Pinitjitsamut, from the Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University, said that SROI is one of the most popular economic tools used to assess public investment in government projects by evaluating social benefits and costs of the project. 


"The research results suggest that the CLMVT forums have generated social benefits in terms of increasing income, boosting trade and investment up to THB308 million and have generated returns to society as high as 4.49 times the initial investment value."

In addition, the CLMVT countries earned benefits from CLMVT Forums in at least four areas: 


— The forum creates tangible business cooperation;


— reduces the cost of finding information about the region and helps businesses easily find business partners

— helps participants gain knowledge on the economic situation and introduces them to new perspectives,

— helps strengthen the networks among the various government agencies, private sector, and academic sector.

Speaking at a forum on "Business Opportunities: Are CLMV Countries Still Attractive for Thai Investors?", Nisit Panthamit, head of the Centre for Asean Studies, Faculty of Economics, Chiang Mai University, said that the situation in Myanmar has disrupted trade flows between the Myanmar and Thailand. He said the post-coup situation “has made it much more difficult for Thai products to reach consumers in Myanmar, while Laos has suffered economically as a result of the Covid-19 situation because of the effects on the tourism business that has caused inflation in the country”. 


“Many luxury products cannot be sold as easily as before. This situation is happening in Cambodia as well, but not in Vietnam. Vietnam has a positive vibe and is a country to watch," Visit added.

Jirawat Daechasatien, a CLMVT business expert, said that "Population density in CLMV countries is important for trade expansion. There are 180 million people in this region and there are still many opportunities for Thai products. However, each country has different internal barriers that Thai investors should consider before making any decision. For example, Vietnam is an attractive market for baby products, but Thai investors should understand Vietnam consumer preferences, sales and distribution channels before making a business investment.”

Published : May 24, 2022

By : THE NATION

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