Urban Development

The Greater Mekong Subregion is working to improve the quality of life and economic vibrancy of its cities and towns by using global best practices in urban development.


By 2050, the Greater Mekong Subregion is expected to be at least 50% urbanized. This will bring vast changes to the economies of the subregion. What was once a primarily agricultural area is transforming into a place where cities and towns are the main drivers of economic growth. Careful planning is needed to balance urban growth with environmental protection and economic equity so that healthy cities can be enjoyed by all residents.

The Greater Mekong Subregion is working to improve the quality of life and economic vibrancy of its cities through the development of national strategies and projects that incorporate global best practices into the subregion’s urban development. This work has included the first and second Corridor Towns Development Project, which is developing competitive and environmentally friendly cities along vital economic arteries in the subregion. Cross-border economic zones are also being developed.

Related

Urban Development in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Greater Mekong Subregion Urban Development Strategic Framework

Second Greater Mekong Subregion Corridor Towns Development Project

Summary of Proceedings

ADB Loan to Boost Urban Services in Towns Along GMS Economic Corridor

VIENTIANE, LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (16 November 2015) – The Asian Development Bank has approved a $37 million loan, with an additional $10 million in cofinancing, to support government efforts to improve urban services in Houayxay and Luang Namtha, two towns located along a Greater Mekong Subregion main economic corridor.

News Releases

Town market, Myanmar. Photo: ADB.

ADB and NEDA are exploring joint development of corridor towns in Myanmar. Photo: ADB.

ADB, NEDA Sign Partnership For Joint Cooperation Programs

BANGKOK, THAILAND (15 October 2017)  – The Asian Development Bank and the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency, a Thai development agency, have signed a partnership arrangement to carry out joint cooperation programs at national and regional levels.

News Releases

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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3rd Meeting of the GMS Task Force on Urban Development

The Third Meeting of the GMS Task Force on Urban Development in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) from 11–12 September 2014 was held to (i) review the draft GMS Urban Development Strategy1 and Implementation Plan; (ii) discuss the GMS Regional Investment Framework (RIF) Implementation Plan, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system, and the results of the GMS Sixth Economic Corridors Forum (ECF-6) in Ha Noi, Viet Nam (8 August 2014) on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Cross Border Economic Zones (CBEZs); and (iii) agree on the way forward of the GMS Urban Development S


(Left to Right) Sok Chenda Sophea, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister, Secretary General Council for Development of Cambodia; Hong Xiao Yong, PRC Ambassador to Viet Nam; Somchith Inthamith, Vice Minister, Ministry of Planning, Lao PDR; Nguyen Chi Dung, Vice Minister, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Viet Nam; Lei Lei Thein, Deputy Minister, Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development, Myanmar; Porametee Vimolsiri, Deputy Secretary General, National Economic and Social Development Board, Thailand; and Bindu Lohani, Vice-President, Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, ADB. Photo: ADB.

GMS Economic Corridors Must Yield More Jobs and Investment, Forum Hears

HA NOI, VIET NAM (8 August 2014) – The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) needs to ensure that economic corridors yield benefits in terms of trade, investment, and jobs, participants at the 6th GMS Economic Corridors Forum (ECF) heard today.

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