Policy makers, industry experts and top international researchers shared their insights on developments in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region at this week's Asia@RMIT conference at RMIT Vietnam Saigon South from 4 to 5 June 2014.
From financial inclusion to human resources development and global education, the conference examined the dynamism of the region and the challenges it faces.
Hosted by RMIT Vietnam together with the Asia@RMIT network in Melbourne, the conference heard keynote addresses from Jinchang Lai (International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group), Adam Mooney (Good Shepherd Microfinance), Associate Professor Dr Trinh Quoc Lap (Cantho University), Dr Kevin Laws (University of Sydney, Australia), Professor Son Jang-Ho (Daegu National University of Education, Republic of Korea) and Honorary Professor Pham Chi Thanh (RMIT Vietnam).
On 4 June, Mr Lai spoke on the progress and challenges of financial inclusion in the Greater Mekong, while Mr Mooney shared insights around the way financial inclusion builds community resilience and sound investment.
Associate Professor Dr Trinh Quoc Lap, Dr Laws and Professor Son Jang-Ho addressed the attributes of global citizens and highlighted Vietnam's human resource development plans for higher education to enable these attributes to be developed in the country's university graduates.
On 5 June, Professor Pham Chi Thanh presented a model on the long-run behaviour for a green economy, emphasising the transition to a green economy is through a substitution of processes across power and transport sectors.
At the conference opening address, RMIT Vietnam President Professor Gael McDonald said the event provided a forum for research across the Greater Mekong Sub-Region to be shared as well as a dialogue fostered between government, industry and higher education.
"The cross-disciplinary nature of the conference will enable new perspectives and fresh ideas to be shared amongst participants," Professor McDonald said.
"As a forum for leading researchers in the region, conference topics examine the economic, financial and cultural dimensions of the Mekong as well as its rich biodiversity.
"Considered as one of the three most vulnerable deltas in the world, the region is up against challenges including over-fishing, climate change, upstream hydropower projects and water pollution."
Conference co-convenor and RMIT Vietnam Associate Professor Bob Baulch said the conference presented a timely opportunity to inform policy and practice and discuss some of the economic, social and environmental challenges the region faces.
"The Learning from the Greater Mekong Sub-Region conference is part of the Asia@RMIT network which brings together Asian-focused research and provides a forum through which RMIT researchers can network, exchange and discuss their findings," Professor Baulch said.
Co-leader of the Asia@RMIT network Professor Supriya Singh said the conference provided an opportunity to explore research being undertaken in the region and take it to a global stage.
The Learning from the Greater Mekong Sub-Region conference ran from 4 to 5 June at RMIT Vietnam Saigon South.