Trade promotion agencies of Cambodia, India, Thailand, and Viet Nam held an event promoting cross-border trade connectivity between India and countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) on 19 August. Representatives from each country gave briefings on their business environment and exchanged experiences in facilitating trade and investment cooperation. Noting challenges caused by COVID-19, they urged governments to take measures to help their small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) move beyond national borders and expand markets.
The Governments of Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam inaugurated the Dakta Ok (Se Kong, Lao PDR) – Nam Giang (Quang Nam, Viet Nam) border gates on 14 August 2021, which were upgraded to international status this year. This new international cross-border point is expected to further boost bilateral trade, investment, and tourism, and promote opportunities for cooperation between Viet Nam’s central key economic zone and Lao PDR’s south-central region, as well as Thailand’s southeast region.
The Luang Prabang Station along the Lao PDR-People's Republic of China (PRC) railway is set to be completed in August, notes the China Radio International Vientiane. It will have two platforms, four tracks, and a station hall that can accommodate 1,200 passengers. The station’s roof incorporates a distinctive “three vertical lines, one diagonal” design in the steel structure.
Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism (MOT) and key tourism stakeholders from the country’s private sector, including the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, the Cambodian Tourism Federation, the Cambodian Restaurants Association, the Cambodia Hotel Association, and the Pacific-Asia Travel Association, held a meeting on 2 June to discuss plans to open the country to vaccinated tourists traveling on package tours as early as October. Tourism brings in around 32.7% share of Cambodia’s gross domestic product.
The planned Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR)-People’s Republic of China (PRC) expressway aims to improve the transport of goods and people, promote production, and boost commerce, investment, tourism and services, in line with the Government of Lao PDR's objectives. It spans 440 kilometers and comprises four sections in total. Section 1 running between Vientiane and Vangvieng, is already in use.
The Government of Viet Nam with assistance of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) virtually convened the 47th Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Tourism Working Group (TWG-47) on 27 May 2021. The meeting was attended by representatives of the National Tourism Organizations (NTOs) of the six GMS countries—Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam—the MTCO, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Thailand's Department of Highways noted that construction of the new Highway 3646 linking Thailand and Cambodia is already 70% complete. Full completion is expected by next February. Highway 3646 will connect Ban Nong Ian in Sa Kaeo, Aranyaprathet, Thailand, to Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia, via the Thailand-Cambodia Friendship Bridge.
The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICT) of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has endorsed a planned strategy for the revival of the tourism industry, shared Mr. Savankhone Razmountry, Deputy Minister, MICT, at a news conference of the National Operation Centre for COVID-19 in Vientiane on 9 May.
This publication provides an analysis of key challenges and opportunities for the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) to realize its development goals by 2030 and beyond.