Five Mekong River Basin countries have agreed on a 5-year master plan that includes promoting the smooth flow of goods and people in the East-West Economic Corridor and Southern Economic Corridor of the Greater Mekong Subregion.
A report from Kyodo News said the leaders of Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam endorsed the master plan for 2019 to 2023 under the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) on 16 June in Bangkok.
Thailand, host of the 8th ACMECS Summit, also proposed the creation of an ACMECS infrastructure fund, and invited international financial institutions to support the fund.
An earlier Bangkok Post report said Thailand is proposing that the fund be supervised by the Neighboring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA), its lead agency in providing concessional loans and grants to neighboring countries for cross-border development projects.
The 5-year plan will improve transport infrastructure, harmonize trade and investment rules, and develop human resources. It will promote seamless connectivity of multimodal transport, link industrial parks and seaports to main corridor routes, and complete railway links, particularly in the East-West Economic Corridor and the Southern Economic Corridor.
The East-West Economic Corridor links important commercial areas:
- Mawlamyine-Myawaddy in Myanmar;
- Mae Sot-Phitsanulok-Khon Kaen-Kalasin-Mukdahan in Thailand;
- Savannakhet-Dansavanh in Lao PDR; and
- Lao Bao-Hue-Dong Ha-Da Nang in Viet Nam.
The Southern Economic Corridor links Cambodia with six provinces in Thailand, including Bangkok; four regions in Viet Nam, including Ho Chi Minh City; and six provinces in Lao PDR. It also reaches to Dawei in Myanmar.