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 (GMS) countries and the Vice-President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) 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.

The GMS includes the six countries sharing the Mekong River: Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

“Kunming is the linchpin of the GMS North-South Economic Corridor, with its main branches extending southward into Viet Nam, Myanmar, Lao PDR, and on to Thailand,” said ADB Vice-President Stephen Groff. “GMS economic corridors are key components of an Asia-wide network of roads driving trade and economic growth.”

During the forum, GMS country representatives are expected to address issues and challenges flagged at previous meetings, including the reduction of non-tariff barriers, improved software connectivity, accelerated implementation of the GMS Cross Border Transport Facilitation Agreement, and development of Special Economic Zones in certain sections of the corridors.

This year’s theme is “Fostering Pragmatic Cooperation Toward the Future of GMS Economic Corridors.” In addition to the ministers, senior national and provincial government officials from the six GMS countries, as well as representatives from the GMS Business Forum and development partner organizations, are expected to attend.

The forum is taking place during the GMS Economic Corridors Week in Kunming. Other notable events during the week include the GMS Governors’ Forum, commencing today, and the GMS Commodity Trade Fair on 12-16 June. The forum is being co-hosted by Yunnan Province, the Ministry of Commerce of the PRC, and ADB.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.  In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.

Last Updated: 10 June 2015