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

Better Roads Give New Life to Southern Cambodia

Heng Pich Chhay used to deliver fertilizer along a bumpy, muddy road in Kampot province to rice farms in his area. Today, he can reach every corner of Cambodia on the much-improved national road network. And his company has become one of the country’s biggest fertilizer distributors. Photo: ADB/Pring Samrang.

Better Roads Give New Life to Southern Cambodia

In Cambodia's Kampot province, local businesses thrive with the development of the Greater Mekong Subregion's Southern Coastal Corridor.

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All Myanmar’s Roads Lead to Development

Daw Than Than Win decided to open a restaurant in Taikgyi Township after the 254-kilometer Yangon-Pyi road was improved with ADB financing in the 1980s. She said that the road became a busy thoroughfare since the upgrade, cutting travel time to Yangon city by half. Photo: ADB/Myo Thame.

All Myanmar’s Roads Lead to Development

An old ADB road stands the test of time in Myanmar, while new road upgrades designed to benefit farming communities in the country’s Ayerwaddy Delta are in the planning stage.

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Greater Mobility in Myanmar Raises Risks of Communicable Disease Contagion

In addition to prevention activities, a project to mitigate the spread of HIV/AIDS in Myanmar will support treatment and care services, the construction of rural health centers, and enhanced service delivery in hundreds of villages. Photo: ADB/Myo Thame.

Greater Mobility in Myanmar Raises Risks of Communicable Disease Contagion

Prevention and awareness-raising programs help address increasing HIV/AIDS transmission risks as Myanmar’s borders open and mobility grows with the construction of new roads.

Articles