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Asian business forum launched by "M

Asian business forum launched by "Mekong based" countries

AFP, Bangkok, 4 October 2000. An Asian subregional business forum for
"Mekong based" countries was launched Wednesday to promote the private
sector's role in generating economic growth in the delta and surrounding 

The Greater Mekong Subregion Business Forum is intended "to promote
networking among business associations and enterprises" in China, Thailand,
Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, a statement from the body said.

The forum will also "enhance public and private partnership by providing
direct and regular channels for the private sector to communicate with
(the member) governments."

The forum, a joint initiative of the United Nations Economic and Social
Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the Asian Development Bank
(ADB), will also seek to increase business and investment
opportunities, the statement said.

Christine Wallich, a senior ADB director, said 89 percent of those escaping
poverty found jobs in the private sector.

Wallich announced the forum would promote initiatives such as management
and e-commerce training for strengthening business opportunities among
indigenous populations, especially in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

[This looks like an indirect, but potentially substantial, involvement by ADB
in economic development in Burma. I thought that the ADB was prohibited
from such activities -- DA]