Summary of Proceedings

Representatives of the six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion met in Luang Prabang, Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) on 13-14 December 2017 for the 1st Meeting of the GMS Working Group on Health Cooperation (WGHC-1).

The meeting agreed on a framework for GMS regional health cooperation including its vision and core pillars:

  • Health Security as a Regional Public Good,
  • Border Area and Migrant Health, and
  • Health Human Resource.

The Working Group provided additional inputs, clarifications, and recommendations to further define the program areas under each pillar.

The Working Group also discussed its proposed terms of reference, composition, functions, roles, responsibilities, as well as operational and monitoring mechanisms.

With technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank, a GMS Health Cooperation Strategy and Action Plan for 2018-2022 is now being developed for formal endorsement by the GMS Health Ministers in 2018.  


Published on: 
March 19, 2018

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The 40th Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion Tourism Working Group (TWG-40) was held in Yangon, Myanmar on 4 December 2017. It reviewed the progress of implementation of projects and activities under the GMS Tourism Marketing Strategy 2015-2020.

The working group discussed the concept of a proposed 1st Annual Mekong Mini Movie Festival as a regional GMS marketing campaign with public and private sector collaboration to promote the subregion via social media, and the proposed creation of Marketing GMS Tourism Task Forces to serve as a multi-disciplinary platform for subregional marketing and promotion.

The meeting also discussed the 2018 GMS Tourism Workplan aligned with the recently endorsed Tourism Sector Strategy 2018-2025 and public-private partnership projects, such as Mekong Moments, Mekong Stories, Mekong Trends, Experience Mekong Collection, and Destination Mekong that present opportunities to leverage the rising wealth in Asia for regional travel.

Further, the meeting reviewed the progress of implementation of the Asian Development Bank-financed GMS Tourism Infrastructure for Inclusive Growth in Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, and Viet Nam. It also reviewed plans for the 2018 Mekong Tourism Forum to be held in Nhakom Phanom, Thailand on 25-29 June 2018 with the theme “Transforming Travel – Transforming Lives.”

A closed meeting of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) Board was held following TWG-40 to discuss pending issues regarding the draft agreement to establish the MTCO as an inter-governmental organization.


Published on: 
March 19, 2018

The First Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Urban Development Working Group was held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam from 28 to 29 June 2017.

The objectives of the meeting were to

  • update recent developments of the overall GMS Program and review/confirm the GMS Regional Investment Framework 2022 Urban Development and Other Multisector projects;
  • discuss the planning and implementation of the GMS Corridor Towns Development Project;
  • discuss the ongoing ADB-financed regional technical assistance, TA9293-REG: Policy Coordination and Planning of Border Economic Zones of the People’s Republic of China and Viet Nam; and
  • discuss and agree on the terms of reference for the GMS Urban Working Group (upgraded from the GMS Urban Task Force) and its 3-year work plan.

The meeting was chaired by Duong Hung Cuong, Director in charge of GMS Program/Focal, Foreign Economic Relations Department, Ministry of Planning and Investment of Viet Nam. It was co-chaired by Eri Honda, Principal Urban Development Specialist of the Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB). Meeting participants included delegations from each of the working group’s member countries, namely Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam, as well as ADB. The meeting also included representatives from the consulting firm conducting the technical assistance on Capacity Development for Economic Zones in Border Areas.


Published on: 
June 29, 2017

The Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee convened its 23rd meeting (RPTCC-23) with back-to-back meetings of the Working Group on Performance Standards and Grid Codes (WGPG) and Working Group on Regulatory Issues (WGRI)  in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic on 13-15 December 2017.

The meetings focused on the work, achievements, and future actions of the working groups. Future support from the Asian Development Bank for the RPTCC and regional cross-border interconnection projects in the Greater Mekong Subregion were also discussed.

 


Published on: 
December 13, 2017

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized a Development Partners' Meeting, the 9th Economic Corridors Forum, and the 22nd GMS Ministerial Conference on 18-20 September 2017 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. These events coincide with the 25th Anniversary of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Program, leading up to the Sixth GMS Summit of Leaders in March 2018 in Viet Nam.

The 9th Economic Corridors Forum discussed measures to deepen and widen connectivity along GMS economic corridors, such as multimodal transport, logistics development, and role of the private sector.  The forum also discussed strengthening multisector and intersector linkages, including border area development, role of the governors forum, and cross-border e-commerce.

At the 22nd GMS Ministerial Conference, the Ministers acknowledged the program's achievements as it celebrates 25 years of economic cooperation, and endorsed a 5-year action plan framework. The ministers welcomed the preparation of the Ha Noi Action Plan 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. They also endorsed the GMS Regional Investment Framework 2022, to support the the Ha Noi Action Plan through a pipeline of 222 investment and technical assistance projects valued at $64 billion.

The Ministers also endorsed the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy 2016-2025 and the initiation of a new Working Group on GMS Health Cooperation, welcomed the GMS strategy to promote safe and environment-friendly agriculture products, and noted the development of a new GMS Transport Sector Strategy. Read the news release.

These meetings brought together the GMS Ministers and Senior Officials of the six GMS countries (Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam); the GMS Business Council; and development partners.


Published on: 
September 26, 2017

The 39th Greater Mekong Subregion Tourism Working Group Meeting (TWG-39) was held on 5 June 2017 in Luang Prabang, Lao People's Democratic Republic. The meeting was co-organized by the Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICT), the provincial government of Luang Prabang, and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO). It was attended by representatives of the National Tourism Organizations of the six GMS countries (Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam), MTCO, the Asian Development Bank, and other development partners including the World Tourism Organization, Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration of Thailand, Swisscontact, Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency, ASEAN-Korea Center, and ASEAN-Japan Center.

The list of participants is in Appendix 1.


Published on: 
October 2, 2017

The 22nd Annual Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Working Group on Environment (WGE AM-22) was held on 26-27 July 2016 in Da Nang, Viet Nam.

The meeting was chaired by Dr. Nguyen The Chinh, Director General, Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Viet Nam; and co-chaired by Mr. Pavit Ramachandran, Senior Environment Specialist, Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Division, Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The meeting was attended by representatives from the environment and other relevant ministries of Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam; the GMS National Secretariats; co-financing and other development partners; ADB; experts of NIRAS Finland Oy, consulting firm engaged to manage the Core Environment Program (CEP); and other GMS Environment Operations Center (EOC) staff.


Published on: 
July 26, 2016

The 21st Meeting of the Subregional Transport Forum (STF-21) was held in Luang Prabang, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) on 19–20 July 2017. It was jointly organized by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) of Lao PDR and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The theme of the meeting was: “Toward an Efficient GMS Multimodal Transport System.” The objectives were to:

  • review the initial working draft of the proposed new Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Transport Sector Strategy (TSS) under preparation;
  • review developments in axle load control practices in the GMS and proposals on improving their effectiveness;
  • review the report on the state of development of GMS economic corridors from the study “GMS Corridors Assessment”;
  • update the meeting on the progress of the Midterm Review of the GMS Strategic Framework, and the preparation of a five-year action plan;
  • review the initial progress report on Cross-border Transport Agreement (CBTA) “Early Harvest” implementation;
  • review progress and plans in the GMS railway sector toward the development of a GMS railway network, including the initial findings of the study currently being undertaken on the missing rail links in the subregion; and
  • discuss other topics that have a bearing on the GMS transport sector.
Table of Contents
Summary of Proceedings
Appendix 1: Meeting Program and Agenda
Appendix 2: List of Participants
Appendix 3: Opening Remarks of Vice-Minister Viengsavath Siphandone, Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT), Lao PDR
Appendix 4: Opening Remarks of Vice-Governor Vongsavanh Tepphachanh of Luang Prabang
Appendix 5: Opening Remarks of Director General Oulay Phadouangdeth, Department of Planning and Cooperation, MPWT, Lao PDR (STF-21 Chair)
Appendix 6: Opening Statement of Country Director Hideaki Iwasaki, Thailand Resident Mission, Asian Development Bank (STF-21 Co-Chair)
Appendix 7: Preliminary Findings of the Mid-Term Review of the GMS Strategic Framework 2012-2022 and Indicative Elements of the Hanoi Action Plan 2018-2022
Appendix 8: Overview of Draft GMS Transport Sector Strategy
Appendix 9: Progress Report on Assessment of GMS Economic Corridors
Appendix 10: Stocktaking on Axle Load Control of GMS Countries
Appendix 11: Review on the Status of Axle Load Control Practices in GMS Countries
Appendix 12: “Early Harvest” Implementation of the GMS Cross Border Transportation Facilitation
Agreement
Appendix 13: Greater Mekong Railway Association – An Update
Appendix 14: Development Initiative for Road Asset Management of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Appendix 15: Scholarship Program under JICA’s Development Initiative for Road Asset Management
Appendix 16: Cooperation with Neighboring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA) of Thailand on Infrastructure Financing for Regional Development

Published on: 
October 3, 2017

The Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee of the Greater Mekong Subregion convened its 22nd meeting (RPTCC-22), with back-to-back meetings of the Working Group on Performance Standards and Grid Codes (WGPG) and Working Group on Regulatory Issues (WGRI), on 19–21June 2017 in Chengdu, People’s Republic of China.

The meeting concluded work performed in 2016 under WGPG and WGRI; and discussed future activities to support cross-border power interconnections and trade in the subregion.

The RPTCC-22 was organized by the National Energy Administration of the People’s Republic of China in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).


Published on: 
October 3, 2017

The Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee convened its 21st meeting (RPTCC-21), with back-to-back meetings of the Working Group on Performance Standards and Grid Codes (WGPG) and Working Group on Regulatory Issues (WGRI), on 8–9 December 2016 in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The meetings (i) discussed the latest results of activities under the WGPG and WGRI, (ii) deliberated on the follow-up actions under the working groups, (iii) updated country power sector development, and (iv) discussed future cross-border power interconnection and trade in the Greater Mekong Subregion.


Published on: 
December 19, 2016