First of all, I would like to express my sincere appreciation as I am indeed very grateful for the support from the National Economic and Social Development Board and the government of Thailand in nominating me to this directorship. I would also like to thank the IMT-GT advisory committee, the IMT-GT Ministers and the IMT –GT Leaders for the greatest honor in entrusting the directorship of CIMT to me. As we may be aware, the IMT-GT is now in its 21 year of economic cooperation. During the time, we have witnessed both successes and failures in terms of the implementation of the IMT-GT projects and programs. But all IMT-GT stakeholders seem to keep faith in this sub regional cooperation and insist on moving IMT-GT forward. Recent data compilation and analysis with the assistance by ADB suggested that we have all reasons not to believe otherwise. This analysis basically pointed to robust and growing GDP growth of the IMT-GT with strong export growth of 18.7% and imports growth of 16.7% in 2011. This is due mainly to the fact that intra-IMT-GT trade grew by 21.4% while extra IMT-GT trade by 17.4%. The unemployment rate is steadily decreasing from 2005 to 2011 and the poverty incidence continues to decline from 2002 to 2011.
Although we cannot claim that IMT-GT cooperation in connectivity, trade and investment facilitation and other sectoral projects and programs have solely contributed to this promising development perspective, these few key figures certainly give us some sorts of encouragement. But I believe we could do more to realize IMT-GT full potential. There is no doubt that a lot of works need to be done in order to achieve its ultimate goals of economic growth, economic integration and the reduction of the development gap. And as the new director of CIMT, I would say, it is indeed a great honor to have the opportunity to drive CIMT to be part and parcel of all efforts to achieve those desirable outcomes and impacts. With the next IMT-GT summit meeting only 3 months away, CIMT is looking forward to working closely with all IMT-GT stakeholders as well as our strategic partner and technical advisor, the Asian Development Bank to make this very important meeting a success and essentially prove the relevancy of the cooperation as a delivery mechanism for growth and prosperity of the IMT-GT areas. I hope that this website further enhances your knowledge on the regional surroundings. Thank you.