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.


During the past decade, the GMS road network has expanded by almost 200,000 kilometers, and overland road freight has also almost doubled. Yet despite these advances, remaining barriers to trade and transport continue to inhibit the subregion’s full economic potential.

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 GMS corridors, particularly the North-South, East-West and Southern Economic Corridors; simplify and modernize customs procedures and border management; and strengthen the capacity of sanitary and phytosanitary agencies in the subregion.

The GMS Transport and Trade Facilitation Action Program builds on the success of the GMS Cross Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA), which has helped to consolidate non-physical measures needed to streamline the cross-border movement of goods, vehicles and people within the subregion.

Related

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)

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

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.

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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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The project will improve cross-border connectivity in the Greater Mekong Subregion. This will help create jobs and raise incomes for local residents. Photo: ADB.

ADB to Support Cross-Border Economic Activities Between Viet Nam and Guangxi, PRC with $450 Million Loan

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (8 December 2016) – The Asian Development Bank has approved a $450 million investment program to promote cross-border economic activities between Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China and northern Viet Nam. The program will focus on developing the North-South Economic Corridor under the Greater Mekong Subregion Cooperation Program.

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A new system to be introduced by the Customs Department with ADB support will simplify and expedite the release of imported and exported goods. Bo Aung Kyaw Port is an important entry point for goods into the Yangon area. Photo: ADB.

Myanmar Customs to Develop New Scheme For Faster Import, Export of Goods

YANGON, MYANMAR (27 July 2015)  – The Asian Development Bank is supporting the Myanmar Customs Department in developing its Authorized Economic Operators scheme, a new system that will simplify and expedite the release of imported and exported goods.

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The GMS ministers called for a Transport and Trade Facilitation Action Program to enhance the cross-border flow of goods and people, and for a coordinated approach to developing urban areas throughout the region. A vendor selling different products in a market in Thailand. Photo: ADB.

Ministers Endorse Plans to Develop New Special Economic Zones in Mekong

KUNMING, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (11 June 2015) – Government ministers and senior officials attending the Greater Mekong Subregion Seventh Economic Corridors Forum today agreed on measures to promote the development of economic corridors, facilitate cross-border transport and trade, and enhance cooperation and private sector participation.

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GMS Economic Corridors Forum Looks to Enhance Cross-Border Trade

KUNMING, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (10 June 2015) – Ministers and senior officials from the six Greater Mekong Subregion countries and the Vice-President of the Asian Development Bank will convene tomorrow at the 7th GMS Economic Corridors Forum to discuss how to further develop economic corridors, facilitate cross-border transport and trade, and enhance cooperation and private sector participation – including the development of Special Economic Zones.

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An improved power supply made it possible to develop a special economic zone in Cambodia's Kampot province, attracting 40 businesses that sustain 10,000 much-needed jobs for the local impoverished community. Photo: ADB/Pring Samrang.

An improved power supply made it possible to develop a special economic zone in Cambodia's Kampot province, attracting 40 businesses that sustain 10,000 much-needed jobs for the local impoverished community. Photo: ADB/Pring Samrang.

Cross-Border Energy Trade Powers Development in Cambodia

A Greater Mekong Subregion project helps builds a transmission line from Viet Nam to Cambodia to provide a steady supply of electricity to communities and industries in the southern part of the country.

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