$50b plan for Mekong corridors revealed

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mekong-river-cruiseMember countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) have agreed to draw up a $50 billion pipeline of potential projects under a new Regional Investment Framework (RIF), including investments in non-traditional areas like railways and multi-sector projects to be made over the next decade.

“The next generation projects can help boost cross border trade and investments, and stimulate jobs and growth,” said Stephen Groff, Vice President at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which acts as Secretariat for the GMS Economic Cooperation Programme.

“Completing missing transport links remains at the core of the GMS programme, but strengthening knowledge and soft infrastructure such as skills development and trade facilitation, and collectively managing regional public goods is also a priority.”

The RIF was endorsed at the conclusion of the 19th Ministerial Conference of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program, held in Vientiane, Laos, in December 2013. The Framework encompasses subregional investments and technical assistance projects prepared by all GMS countries.

Since the 2012 ministerial conference, the subregion has made substantial headway to establish the Greater Mekong Railway Association and the Regional Power Coordination Center. Funding has been secured for the second phase of the Core Agricultural Support Programme and for the Core Environment Programme Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative.

China and Vietnam have also signed an agreement on developing cross-border economic zones. A new bridge linking Laos and Thailand has been completed, providing the last “missing link” to ensure seamless connectivity along the entire GMS North-South Economic Corridor.

The ambition of the GMS Programme is to transform transport corridors into full-fledged economic corridors to boost cross-border trade and investment, and to stimulate jobs and growth. The RIF aims to accelerate this process by supporting multi-sector projects. Along with developing urban and logistics centers, it will try to create a subregional power market. It also emphasises the need for investments to help member countries build resilience to climate change, to enhance agricultural competitiveness and to promote food safety and security.

Efforts will continue to extend and expand the exchange of traffic rights among countries, and to promote region-wide tourism opportunities. The pipeline of investments is projected over the next eight years to 2022. To meet the sizeable financing requirements, member countries and their development partners will look to mobilise funds from the private sector.

GMS members include Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Yunnan province and the Guangxi autonomous region in China. The subregion, bound together by the Mekong River, covers an area about the size of Western Europe and has a combined population larger than that of the US.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) have agreed to draw up a $50 billion pipeline of potential projects under a new Regional Investment Framework (RIF), including investments in non-traditional areas like railways and multi-sector projects to be made over the next decade.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

mekong-river-cruiseMember countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) have agreed to draw up a $50 billion pipeline of potential projects under a new Regional Investment Framework (RIF), including investments in non-traditional areas like railways and multi-sector projects to be made over the next decade.

“The next generation projects can help boost cross border trade and investments, and stimulate jobs and growth,” said Stephen Groff, Vice President at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which acts as Secretariat for the GMS Economic Cooperation Programme.

“Completing missing transport links remains at the core of the GMS programme, but strengthening knowledge and soft infrastructure such as skills development and trade facilitation, and collectively managing regional public goods is also a priority.”

The RIF was endorsed at the conclusion of the 19th Ministerial Conference of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program, held in Vientiane, Laos, in December 2013. The Framework encompasses subregional investments and technical assistance projects prepared by all GMS countries.

Since the 2012 ministerial conference, the subregion has made substantial headway to establish the Greater Mekong Railway Association and the Regional Power Coordination Center. Funding has been secured for the second phase of the Core Agricultural Support Programme and for the Core Environment Programme Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative.

China and Vietnam have also signed an agreement on developing cross-border economic zones. A new bridge linking Laos and Thailand has been completed, providing the last “missing link” to ensure seamless connectivity along the entire GMS North-South Economic Corridor.

The ambition of the GMS Programme is to transform transport corridors into full-fledged economic corridors to boost cross-border trade and investment, and to stimulate jobs and growth. The RIF aims to accelerate this process by supporting multi-sector projects. Along with developing urban and logistics centers, it will try to create a subregional power market. It also emphasises the need for investments to help member countries build resilience to climate change, to enhance agricultural competitiveness and to promote food safety and security.

Efforts will continue to extend and expand the exchange of traffic rights among countries, and to promote region-wide tourism opportunities. The pipeline of investments is projected over the next eight years to 2022. To meet the sizeable financing requirements, member countries and their development partners will look to mobilise funds from the private sector.

GMS members include Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Yunnan province and the Guangxi autonomous region in China. The subregion, bound together by the Mekong River, covers an area about the size of Western Europe and has a combined population larger than that of the US.

 

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