About the Greater Mekong Subregion
Established in 1992
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.
The Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework 2030 (GMS-2030) was endorsed and adopted at the 7th GMS Summit of Leaders hosted by Cambodia in September 2021. The GMS-2030 establishes a new Mission Statement for the GMS Program: a subregional cooperation program focused on its fundamental strengths of community, connectivity, and competitiveness, while embracing the core principles of environmental sustainability and resilience, internal and external integration, and inclusivity, for building a GMS community with a bright shared future. These core principles will be infused across all initiatives of the GMS Program.
GMS-2030 promotes innovative approaches in key cross-cutting areas. These include (i) harnessing the digital revolution to transform important sectors of the economy toward greater efficiency and inclusiveness; (ii) an enhanced spatial approach based on an integrated network of economic corridors, dynamic border areas, and clusters of competitive and smart cities that are well connected to rural areas; (iii) deeper dialogue on policies and regulations, underpinned by knowledge-based solutions and capacity building; (iv) embracing private sector solutions to leverage expertise and financing; (v) gearing the GMS Program to be a more open platform and cooperate closely and tap synergies and complementarities with other regional cooperation and integration initiatives; and (vi) establishing a result monitoring framework. GMS-2030 aims to seize the opportunities in an interconnected global economy and foster an open, fair, and non-discriminatory business environment supported by digital economy and innovation.
How the Program Works
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:
- the Leaders' Summit,
- the Ministerial Conference, and
- the working group and forum in the priority sectors.
A unit at ADB headquarters provides overall secretariat support to the GMS Program in coordination with national secretariats in the GMS countries.