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.

Related

GMS Transport Strategy 2006–2015

Summary of Proceedings

Focal Persons at the Asian Development Bank

  • Shihiru Date
    Transport and Communication Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Masahiro Nishimura
    Sustainable Infrastructure Division,
    East Asia Department
  • Rebecca Stapleton
    Sustainable Infrastructure Division,
    East Asia Department

Other Concerned Staff & Consultants

  • Rhodora Concepcion
    Thailand Resident Mission,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Rodrigo Castelo
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department/GMS Secretariat

Send inquiries to GMS Secretariat.

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.

Explainer: What is an Economic Corridor?

Sometimes misunderstood as highway projects, the concept of economic corridors can be complex and confusing. Though not simple, they are powerful tools for reducing poverty and increasing economic growth.

Articles

The road project is expected to improve travel between Yangon (in photo), Myanmar’s largest city, and Mae Sot in western Thailand.

The road project is expected to improve travel between Yangon (in photo), Myanmar’s largest city, and Mae Sot in western Thailand. Photo credit: ADB.

Thailand to Support Upgrade of Key Road Link in Southern Myanmar

The Myanmar government recently approved a project that will ensure the completion of the Greater Mekong Subregion East-West Economic Corridor, which stretches from Danang, Viet Nam to Yangon, Myanmar.

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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.

News Releases

Delegates at the Green Freight and Logistics in Southeast Asia regional workshop held in Bangkok. Photo: ADB.

Green Freight Approach Needed For Greater Mekong Subregion - Workshop

BANGKOK, THAILAND (2 June 2016) – “Greening” road freight in the Greater Mekong Subregion will help participating countries achieve their Sustainable Development Goals, as well as providing economic benefits, delegates at a workshop in Bangkok heard today.

News Releases

Thailand's highway network spans over 70,000 kilometers across all regions. Photo: ADB.

Highway 12 Upgrades to Support Cross-Border Trade and Tourism

BANGKOK, THAILAND (12 March 2016) – The completion of work on a 105-km section of highway from Phisanulok to Lomsak to expand it from two lanes to four, supported by the Asian Development Bank, is expected to generate greater economic activity and increase local competitiveness

News Releases