Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Road SystemADB in Regional Integration: The Case of the Greater Mekong Subregion, Jean-Pierre Verbiest, ADB Country Director Thailand. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is supporting the development of infrastructure for economic integration of the Greater Mekong Subregion, including transport infrastructure such as the East-West Economic Corridor and the “North-South Corridor” as well as telecommunications infrastructure, railway infrastructure, common customs procedures, etc. In Vietnam, the ADB assistance strategy for the period 2007-2009 included a plan to mobilize US$ 3 billion. And ADB plans to mobilize $ 10 billion for Vietnam projects over 2011 – 2015

Read more about the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Priorities and Programs in Vietnam and the Greater Mekong Subregion

Asian Development Bank Finance and Development Priorities and Projects in Vietnam and the GMS, 2011-2015

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) supports Vietnam and other nations in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) in their efforts to modernize through the construction of international-standard roads, ports, railways, power generation facilities, clean water and sanitation services. ADB also provides support for ‘soft sector’ enhancement, including trade and transport agreements, and it works with Mekong nations to enhance environmental protection measures, to support clean energy solutions, and to bolster climate change mitigation efforts.

ADB promotes regional cooperation in Asia and the Pacific to help developing countries address regional challenges and opportunities through collective actions. Such multi-country economic development efforts contribute to increased trade and investment and overall economic growth, while also improving regional stability.

Substantial progress has been achieved in terms of implementing GMS projects since 1992. Priority infrastructure projects worth close to US$ 11 billion have either been completed or are being implemented. Among these are the upgrading of the Phnom Penh (Cambodia)-Ho Chi Minh City (Viet Nam) highway and the East-West Economic Corridor that will eventually extend from the Andaman Sea to Da Nang. A significant amount of resources has been mobilized for the GMS Program.

As of the end of 2009, the 44 GMS projects cost an estimated US$ 11 billion of which ADB has

• extended loans amounting to US$ 4.0 billion
• generated US$ 3.4 billion in cofinancing for these investment projects
• mobilized a total of close to US$ 220 million of grant resources, of which US$ 96.7 million have been provided by ADB, to finance 196 technical assistance projects focusing on human resource development, tourism, environment, transport, energy, trade and investment.

Video: Kunio Senga, Director General of ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, discusses challenges facing the Greater Mekong Subregion, and GMS nations’ impressive accomplishments to date

Video: Arjun Goswami, Head of ADB’s Regional Cooperation and Integration group, speaks about the benefits of expanding cross-border transport in the Mekong region

Mekong Nations Gather in Hanoi on Aug 19-20, 2010 to Chart Regional Cooperation for the Next Decade (GMS , ADB)

16th GMS Ministerial Conference

Connecting Greater Mekong Subregion Railways: A Strategic Framework, Aug 2010

A strategic framework for connecting Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) railways, which is the first step in developing and implementing an integrated railway system in the subregion. All the GMS countries have independent plans to develop their railways. Yet all desire to see an integrated system that would move their freight and passengers seamlessly around the subregion and beyond.

To date, the individual countries have focused on the investments needed for line construction, with little attention to the other aspects of infrastructure, let alone the many requirements of cross-border traffic, such as compatible and mutually recognized immigration, customs, and health clearances; technical and operational standards; and/or procedures and facilities, such as axle change at borders, that also need to be addressed.

This strategic framework, based on a study requested by the GMS countries, develops a practical approach to GMS railway integration, provides the GMS countries with an initial framework for achieving integration and interoperability, identifies priority initiatives, builds a platform for further dialogue and discussion between and among GMS countries, and provides a context for evaluating future projects.

The framework’s objective is to set the stage for the GMS countries to work together on developing common or harmonized standards and procedures for their railways that will enable greater connectivity between the countries and, ultimately, their greater economic growth.

Strategy and Action Plan for the Greater Mekong Subregion Southern Economic Corridor, Aug 2010

The economic corridor approach to subregional development was adopted by the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries during the eighth GMS ministerial meeting, held in Manila in 1998, to help accelerate the pace of subregional economic cooperation. Three priority GMS economic corridors were identified during that meeting: the East–West Economic Corridor (EWEC), the North–South Economic Corridor (NSEC), and the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC) (Figure 1). The development of these corridors was subsequently designated as a flagship initiative under the Ten-Year GMS Strategic Framework endorsed by the leaders of GMS countries during the first GMS summit, held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in 2002. At the third GMS summit, held in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), in March 2008, GMS leaders stressed the need to redouble efforts to transform transport corridors into economic corridors and maximize benefits from improved physical connectivity in the subregion.

This report presents the key elements of a proposed strategy and action plan for the development of the SEC. It is organized into seven chapters. The introductory chapter provides a brief background on the role and objectives of the economic corridor approach in GMS development and explains why a road map is needed to promote the development of these corridors. Chapter 2 presents the spatial configuration and composition of the SEC. Chapter 3 summarizes the basic demographic, physical, and socioeconomic characteristics of SEC areas to provide the context for its development. Chapter 4 discusses the comparative advantages and development potential of SEC
areas, whereas Chapter 5 identifies the factors holding back SEC development andindicates the challenges facing such development.

Chapter 6 sets out a strategy for the SEC, indicating the vision, goals and objectives, operational principles, and approaches for its development, based on the discussions in Chapters 3 through 5. Chapter 7 discusses the mechanisms for implementing the strategy, which involves an action plan comprising specific, time-bound initiatives, institutional arrangements, financing requirements, and systems for monitoring and evaluating progress.

Please click the below links to view and download the following ADB e-Books (pdf):

Strategy and Action Plan for the Greater Mekong Sub-region East-West Economic Corridor, Aug 2010
Strategy and Action Plan for the Greater Mekong Subregion Southern Economic Corridor, Aug 2010
Strategy and Action Plan for the Greater Mekong Sub-region North-South Economic Corridor, Aug 2010
ADB Vietnam Country Partnership Strategy, 2012-2015
Overview • Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program, 2012

Presentation: Eric Gagnon, Senior Procurement Specialist, ADB Vietnam Resident Mission, Sep 2010

Japan and the Greater Mekong Subregion

Asian Development Bank, Vietnam Resident Mission Web Site

Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Road System 2015 Economic Corridors