The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has made progress in transforming itself from a landlocked to a “land-linked” economy. However, high logistics costs affect its continued growth, particularly its trade competitiveness.
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.
• 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 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)
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.
Mekong governments need to create an enabling environment for public-private partnerships in infrastructure. Here are 4 ways to get the job done.
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.
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.
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.
The third edition of the Greater Mekong Subregion Statistics booklet includes two new chapters: the Energy Sector and Bilateral Trade.
Special economic zones combined with economic corridors are a potent force for prosperity in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
In Kunming, governors and key local government officials from provinces along the borders of the Greater Mekong Subregion came together on 10 June 2017 to discuss further cooperation.
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.