Countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion aim for Sustainable Development Goals for health. Yet, the subregion still experiences high incidence of communicable diseases and drug-resistant microorganisms. GMS countries also suffer from inefficient health systems due to lack of synergies, economies of scale, and scope; and there are few common solutions to common health problems.

The Working Group on Health Cooperation seeks to address collective action problems of regional health investments and limited resources for health that tend to prioritize national investments.



After more than 20 years, the Working Group on Human Resource Development is being restructured to focus on health, given the strategic importance of regional cooperation in this area.

Human resource development, however, continues to be an important sector in the Greater Mekong Subregion. At an extraordinary meeting of the Working Group on Human Resource Development in Bangkok on 4 July 2017, participants agreed on the following key points:

  • Refocus the working group and its approach, given the new strategic direction toward health cooperation.
  • Continue to respond to demand for analysis and similar initiatives in higher education at the country level.
  • Cooperate with other development partners with expertise on labor and migration.
  • Integrate social development across all sectors of the GMS.
  • Develop the scope for a new Working Group on Health Cooperation.

Learn more:

Strategic Framework and Action Plan for Human Resource Development in the Greater Mekong Subregion (2013–2017)
Strategic Framework and Action Plan for Human Resource Development in the Greater Mekong Subregion (2009-2012)
Summary of Proceedings



Factors Affecting Firm-Level Investment and Performance in Border Economic Zones and Implications for Developing Cross-Border Economic Zones between the People's Republic of China and its Neighboring GMS Countries

The establishment of cross-border economic zones in the border areas of the People's Republic of China and its neighboring countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion has recently emerged as a strategy for further promoting trade and investments in the subregion. Unlike a border economic zone (BEZ), which is confined within the national territory, a CBEZ is an economic zone traversing a transnational area and requiring a unified set of policies and incentives in such areas as finance, taxation, investment, trade, and customs regulation.


Improving Accessibility of Financial Services in the Border-Gate Areas to Facilitate Cross-Border Trade: The Case of Viet Nam and Implications for Greater Mekong Subregion Cooperation

Using the case study of Viet Nam to draw implications for GMS cooperation, this paper investigates how users and providers of financial services in the border-gate areas see financial services as a factor of cross-border trade facilitation. It also examines how users and providers of financial services perceive the different dimensions of financial service accessibility and how accessibility affects customers' decisions to use financial services in the border-gate areas.


Earnings and Quality of Female Labor in the Border Areas of Viet Nam and Implications for Greater Mekong Subregion Cooperation

Border-gate economic zones (BEZs) are symbols of the increased cross-border exchange and the development initiative of the border areas in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Over the past decade, BEZs have been able to attract a great number of women workers seeking new job opportunities.