About the Greater Mekong Subregion  

The Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program supports the implementation of high-priority projects in the six nations that share the Mekong River.


  • Population: 340 million (2016)

  • GDP at PPP (current international dollars): $3.1 trillion (2016)

  • Intra-GMS Trade: $444 billion (2015)

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The Greater Mekong Subregion comprises Cambodia, the People's Republic of China (specifically Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), Lao People's Democratic Republic , Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

In 1992, with assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), these six countries entered into a program of subregional economic cooperation, designed to enhance economic relations. With support from ADB and other donors, the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program supports the implementation of high-priority subregional projects in agriculture, energy, environment, health and human resource development, information and communication technology, tourism, transport, transport and trade facilitation, and urban development.

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The Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework 2012-2022 was adopted at the 4th GMS Summit of Leaders in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar in December 2011. It is anchored on the development of economic corridors, which provides the spatial and thematic focus to the program.

The Strategic Framework for 2012-2022 expands the GMS Program from conventional infrastructure to multi-sector investments designed to foster economic corridor development, involving stronger cross-sectoral linkages, better consideration of regional economic development’s spatial aspects, more local stakeholder involvement, and more effective monitoring and evaluation.

In 2017, a midterm review of the Strategic Framework 2012-2022 was conducted to ensure the program’s continued effectiveness and responsiveness. The review set the directions and operational focus for the remaining 5 years of the strategic framework. These will be embodied in the Ha Noi Action Plan 2018-2022, which calls for an expansion of economic corridors to boost connectivity between countries and within rural and urban centers to ensure the benefits of economic growth will be more broadly distributed.

In September 2017, the 22nd Ministerial Conference in Ha Noi, Viet Nam endorsed the GMS Regional Investment Framework 2022 to support the Ha Noi Action Plan. This medium-term pipeline of priority projects consolidates and expands the earlier Regional Investment Framework (2013-2022).

On 31 March 2018, the 6th GMS Summit of Leaders in Ha Noi adopted the Ha Noi Action Plan and Regional Investment Framework.

The GMS Program is managed by an institutional mechanism, involving both the political and operational levels of the six GMS member countries. The program is based on continuing consultation and dialogue among GMS member countries. The institutional arrangements for the GMS Program are pragmatic and flexible, and guided only by a general set of principles. The GMS institutional structure has three levels:

A unit at ADB headquarters provides overall secretariat support to the GMS Program in coordination with national secretariats in the GMS countries.