$64b GMS action plan

Cambodia as a member of the six-nation Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) endorsed a five-year action plan framework that includes $64 billion in projects to help the sub-region achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development.

Ministers at the 22nd GMS Ministerial Conference on Friday celebrated 25 years of economic cooperation, acknowledging the achievements of an Asian Development Bank (ADB) programme that has created a strong bond of openness, mutual trust and shared commitment.

“The GMS Programme has been guided by the 3 Cs: connectivity, competitiveness, and community. This overarching approach to regional development produced significant results,” said ADB vice-president Stephen Groff.

The GMS Programme also helps identify and implement high-priority sub-regional projects in a wide range of sectors, from transport corridors to market integration.

“Although ADB facilitated the process, the initiative was driven by the countries themselves, with a sharp focus on joint action to address common challenges,” added Mr Groff.

“Six countries – Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China (specifically Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam – entered the programme in 1992, with assistance from the Asian Development Bank, to enhance economic relations,” stated an ADB press release.

Under the programme, investment projects worth more than $19.1 billion have so far been undertaken.

At the meeting, the ministers welcomed the preparation of the Hanoi Action Plan (HAP) 2018-2022, which calls for an expansion of economic corridors to boost connectivity between countries as well as within rural and urban centers to ensure a more equitable distribution of the benefits of economic growth