Summary of Proceedings

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.

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

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).

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.

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The 14th Annual Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Working Group on Agriculture (WGA AM-14), held on 13-14 July 2017 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, was chaired by H.E. San Vanty, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF), Cambodia, and co-chaired by Mr. Pavit Ramachandran, Senior Environment Specialist, Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Division, Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB).

An extraordinary meeting of the GMS Working Group on Human Resource Development (WGHRD-Ex) was held on 4 July 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting was attended by representatives of the six GMS countries (Cambodia, PRC, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other development partners including GiZ, IOM, ILO, SEAMEO, and the ASEAN University Network (AUN) (list of participants in Appendix 1).

WGHRD-Ex was organized by ADB to seek the consensus of the six GMS countries on the findings and recommendations of the review of the GMS HRD Strategic Framework and Action Plan (SFAP) 2013-2017, and recommend new strategic directions for GMS cooperation in HRD beyond 2017. It aimed to (i) understand coordination efforts in the GMS within each of the HRD subgroups; (ii) obtain consensus regarding their future directions; and (iii) develop a plan of action for regional cooperation in health, education, labor and migration, and social development.

The meeting was chaired by Wolfgang Kubitzki of the Thailand Resident Mission of ADB. 

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.

The Thirty-Seventh Meeting of the GMS Tourism Working Group (TWG-37) was held on 4 July 2016 in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. The meeting was co-organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), and attended by representatives of the National Tourism Organizations (NTOs) of the six GMS countries (Cambodia, People’s Republic of China [PRC], Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam), MTCO, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), ASEAN-China Center and ASEAN-Japan Center

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The Twentieth Meeting of the Subregional Transport Forum (STF-20) was held in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China (PRC) on 29–30 June 2016.

The Meeting was jointly organized by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) of PRC and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The 36th Meeting of the GMS Tourism Working Group (TWG-36) was held on 7 January 2016 in Nan Province, Thailand. The meeting was co-organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand 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, Thailand Research Fund, and the Asian Development Bank.