Transport

Developing transport infrastructure in tandem with policies and procedures for crossing borders and promoting trade has been central to efforts to interconnect the Greater Mekong Subregion countries.


Transport lies at the heart of Greater Mekong Subregion cooperation. The development of physical infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, in tandem with policies and procedures for crossing borders and developing trade along key routes, has been central to efforts to forge a truly interconnected subregion.

Physically connecting the countries of the subregion was one of the first initiatives of the GMS program when it was founded in 1992. The countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion have acknowledged that in order to cooperate in trade, tourism, and investment, and to realize the other benefits of the region, they must expand the road links and border crossings that connect them.

This is being done through the development of “economic corridors”, which are geographic areas, often along major highways, where a variety of development projects are undertaken to maximize their development benefits. This might include projects involving infrastructure, laws and regulations, market development, and the improvement of urban centers. Economic corridors bring a wide range of benefits, far beyond what single projects deliver in terms of development impact.

The three main GMS corridors—the East–West, North–South and Southern economic corridors—have improved the lives of millions of people in the Greater Mekong Subregion. These corridors are being enhanced with secondary roads that extend their benefits to nearby communities most in need, and other roads that link to strategic seaports in the subregion. The regulatory details of how people and goods can best move along these corridors are also currently being worked out.

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GMS Transport Strategy 2006–2015

Summary of Proceedings

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The project will help provide a more efficient, safe, and disaster resilient transport sector in Cambodia. Photo: ADB.

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The economic corridors of the Greater Mekong Subregion are not just roads or highways, but they encompass a variety of economic activities that run parallel to main transport routes.

The economic corridors of the Greater Mekong Subregion are not just roads or highways, but they encompass a variety of economic activities that run parallel to main transport routes. Photo: ADB.

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Expansion of economic corridor networks and new areas for economic investment will strengthen trade and investment links between the capital cities of Mekong countries. Photo: ADB.

Expansion of economic corridor networks and new areas for economic investment will strengthen trade and investment links between the capital cities of Mekong countries. Photo: ADB.

Expanded Road Networks to Link Mekong Capitals, Boost Investment

CHIANG RAI, THAILAND (1 December 2016) – A major expansion of economic corridor networks and new areas for economic investment will strengthen links between the capital cities of Mekong countries, and provide unprecedented opportunities for cross-border trade and investment under an agreement reached today by officials attending the 21st Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Ministerial Conference.

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