Transport and Trade Facilitation

Countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion are working to make the movement of goods and services across borders faster, easier, cheaper, more compliant, and more inclusive.


Over the past decade, the Greater Mekong Subregion’s (GMS) road network has expanded by almost 200,000 kilometers, and overland road freight has almost doubled. Yet despite these advances, remaining barriers to trade and transport continue to inhibit the subregion’s full economic potential and the cost of cross-border land transport remains high.

With much of the hard infrastructure in place, there has been a greater focus in recent years on the rules, regulations, agreements, and other “software” to make the movement of goods and services across borders in the GMS faster, easier, cheaper, more compliant, and more inclusive.

The GMS Transport and Trade Facilitation Action Program is working to overcome existing barriers in order to link the subregion to the ASEAN Economic Community’s single market and production base, as well as other regional cooperation initiatives.

The program is helping to expand transport and traffic rights along the GMS Cross Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA). route network; simplify and modernize customs procedures and border management; and strengthen the capacity of sanitary and phytosanitary agencies in the subregion.

To facilitate progressive implementation of the CBTA, the GMS Transport Ministers as members of the CBTA Joint Committee have agreed to an “Early Harvest” memorandum of understanding to allow the issuance and mutual recognition of GMS Road Transport Permits along the CBTA Protocol 1 route network and the border crossing points along these routes starting August 2018.

Related

‘Early Harvest’ Implementation of the Cross-Border Transport Facilitation Agreement

Statement of the Sixth Meeting of the Joint Committee for the CBTA (15 March 2018)

Statement of the Fifth Meeting of the Joint Committee for the CBTA (16 December 2016)

Statement of the Fourth Meeting of the Joint Committee for the CBTA and 3-Year Blueprint on Transport and Trade Facilitation, 2013-2016 (22 November 2013)

Statement of the Third Meeting of the Joint Committee for the CBTA (17 June 2010)

Statement of the Second Meeting of the Joint Committee for the CBTA (20 March 2007)

First Meeting of the Joint Committee for the CBTA (30 April 2004)

Eighty delegates from public and private financial institutions from the six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion participated and discussed topics including fintech, supply chain finance, and taking of security for trade finance. Photo: ADB.

ADB Calls for Extending Trade Finance in GMS at First Regional Conference

BANGKOK, THAILAND (25 January 2018) — The Asian Development Bank’s Trade Finance Program called for greater financial integration, including the development of trade finance, among Greater Mekong Subregion countries at a recent conference for trade finance professionals, central banks, and government ministries in Bangkok.

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Regulatory and institutional reforms are needed to make infrastructure more attractive to private investors and generate a pipeline of bankable projects for public–private partnerships. Photo: ADB.

Mobilizing Private Capital for Infrastructure in the Greater Mekong Subregion 

Mekong governments need to create an enabling environment for public-private partnerships in infrastructure. Here are 4 ways to get the job done.

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ADB, Lao PDR Sign Agreement to Enhance Sanitary, Phytosanitary Management Systems

Lao PDR Deputy Minister of Finance Thipphakone Chanthavongsa (seated, right) and ADB Country Director for the Lao PDR (seated, left) Yasushi Negishi signed the additional grant agreement in Vientiane. Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Phouangparisak Pravongviengkham (standing, second from right) also attended the signing ceremony.

ADB, Lao PDR Sign Agreement to Enhance Sanitary, Phytosanitary Management Systems

VIENTIANE, LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (20 November 2017) —The Asian Development Bank and the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic signed an agreement on 13 November for a $10 million grant as additional financing for a project that will enhance sanitary and phytosanitary capacity and improve food safety as well as plant and animal safety in the country.

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Cargo trucks pass through the Second Lao–Thai Friendship Bridge over the Mekong river, which connects Savannakhet City with Mukdahan province. The bridge has helped improved the Lao PDR’s access to seaports in neighboring countries. Photo: ADB.

Lao PDR Steps Up Its Bid to Become a Logistics Hub with First Dry Port

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is operating its first dry port in Savannakhet province, where it is strategically positioned along the Greater Mekong Subregion East-West Economic Corridor, at the mid-point between the nearest Vietnamese seaport of Danang, and Thai ports in Bangkok and Laem Chabang.

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The additional financing will scale up efforts to improve food safety and ensure plant and animal health, as part of an initiative to improve sanitary and phytosanitary capacity in the Lao PDR. Photo: ADB.

ADB Funds to Scale Up Sanitary, Phytosanitary Efforts in Lao PDR

VIENTIANE, LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (4 October 2017) — The Asian Development Bank’s Board of Directors has approved a $10 million grant to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic as additional financing to scale up efforts to improve food safety and ensure plant and animal health, as part of an initiative to improve sanitary and phytosanitary capacity in the country.

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The group visited a shoe factory at the Bavet Industrial Park. Photo: ADB Cambodia Resident Mission.

The group visited a shoe factory at the Bavet Industrial Park. Photo: ADB Cambodia Resident Mission.

Japan Ambassador, ADB Country Director Visit Bavet Industrial Park

Japan’s Ambassador to Cambodia Hidehisa Horinouchi and Asian Development Bank Country Director Samiuela Tukuafu recently joined Cambodia’s Minister Attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, Sok Chenda Sophea, on a visit to the Bavet Industrial Park near the border with Viet Nam.

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