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Finland launches new Mekong River region renewable energy partnership at AIT

The Government of Finland is planning to start a cooperation program with governments and
different local private sector actors in the countries surrounding the Mekong river area
to help strengthen the use of renewable energy, enhance the mitigation of climate change
and increase regional public-private partnerships in the field of renewable energy. In
this framework, AIT and the Embassy of Finland in Thailand jointly organized at AIT on 28
and 29 October a workshop which was attended by more than 100 participants from the
public, private and NGO sectors from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.  Prof. Sudip
, Vice President for Research has been coordinating with the Finnish counterpart
for the past year on the organization of this important workshop here at AIT.

The workshop achieved three objectives. It presented a similar ongoing cooperation program supported by Finland in Central America, and surveyed public and private sector interest in developing renewable energy projects. Additionally officials sounded out interest to establish a public-private partnership program with the Government of Finland for the development of renewable energy in the Mekong River area.

At the end of the meeting, AIT as a neutral organization with extensive expertise and
experience in running similar projects in the areas of renewable energy and the
environment was recommended to act as the regional coordination unit for the project.
According to AIT President Said Irandoust, this initiative is fully in line with AIT's
strategic thrust to develop a climate change and sustainable development thematic area,
developing interdisciplinary research and facilitating such activities in the region.