The Greater Mekong Subregion at 25

The six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion celebrates 25 years of partnership.

Over the past quarter century, the Greater Mekong Subregion has enjoyed a period of unparalleled peace and prosperity. Photos: ADB; statue of Buddha from

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is a development success story.

Over the past quarter century, the subregion has enjoyed a period of unparalleled peace and prosperity. Impressive economic growth has helped raise millions of people out of poverty. Today, a person born in the subregion can expect to enjoy a more secure livelihood and to live longer and more healthily than any previous generation.

#GMS25 Milestones


5th GMS Environment Ministers’ Meeting (Chiang Mai)

6th GMS Summit (Ha Noi)


First GMS Working Group on Urban Development meeting held in Ha Noi.

The 22nd GMS Ministerial Conference (Ha Noi) endorses the framework for the Ha Noi Action Plan (2018–2022); the Regional Investment Framework (RIF) 2022; and Tourism Sector Strategy 2016–2025.

22nd GMS Ministerial Conference (Ha Noi) endorses the creation of a Working Group on Health Cooperation.

2nd GMS Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting (Siem Reap) endorses the Strategy for Promoting Safe and Environment-Friendly Agro-based Value Chains, and the Siem Reap Action Plan 2018–2022.

GMS Transport Sector Strategy 2018–2030 endorsed.


21st GMS Ministerial Conference (Chiang Rai) endorses the upgrading of the Urban Task Force to a Working Group, and the RIF Implementation Plan 2020.


20th GMS Ministerial Conference (Nay Pyi Taw) endorses the Urban Development Strategic Framework (2015–2022).

GMS Tourism Marketing Strategy and Action Plan 2015–2020 initiated.

4th GMS Environment Ministers’ Meeting (Nay Pyi Taw)

Central route links of the Southern Economic Corridor completed.


5th GMS Summit of Leaders (Bangkok) commits to inclusive and sustainable development in the GMS; supports the Regional Investment Framework Implementation Plan 2014–2018.


Three-Year Blueprint for GMS Transport and Trade Facilitation 2013–2016 initiated.

19th GMS Ministerial Conference (Vientiane) endorses the Regional Investment Framework 2013–2022.

4th GMS Tourism Ministers’ Meeting (Vientiane).

Final links of the GMS North South Economic Corridor completed.


Second phase of the GMS Core Environment Program initiated 2012–2017.

The 18th GMS Ministerial Conference (Nanning) endorses the Human Resource Development Strategic Framework and Action Plan 2013–2017; the establishment of the Regional Power Coordination Center, and also the Greater Mekong Railway Association.


The 17th GMS Ministerial Conference (Phnom Penh) reviews proposed new GMS Strategic Framework comprising second-generation initiatives.

The 3rd GMS Tourism Minister’s Meeting endorses Refocused Tourism Sector Strategy 2011–2015.

The 4th GMS Summit of Leaders (Nay Pyi Taw) endorses new GMS Strategic Framework 2012–2022 and new sector programs (tourism, environment, agriculture).


The 16th GMS Ministerial Conference (Ha Noi) identies elements for new GMS Strategic Framework; endorses sector road maps (transport and trade facilitation, railways, agriculture).


The 15th GMS Ministerial Conference (Petchburi) initiates preparation of a new 10-year GMS Strategic Framework; endorses new Human Resource Development Framework and energy road map.


Economic Corridors Forum (ECF) is established.

The 3rd GMS Summit of Leaders (Vientiane) endorses Vientiane Plan of Action 2008–2012.


The 14th GMS Ministerial Conference (Manila) celebrates 15 years of the GMS Program; discusses midterm review of the GMS Strategic Framework.

The 1st GMS Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting is held in Beijing and endorses the Core Agriculture Support Program 2006–2010.


The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office is established in Bangkok.

The Environment Operations Center to implement the Core Environment Program is inaugurated in Bangkok.


First GMS Environment Ministers’ Meeting (Shanghai) endorses the Core Environment Program.

The 2nd GMS Summit of Leaders (Kunming) launches the Biodiversity Conservation Corridor Initiative under the Core Environment Program.


The 13th GMS Ministerial Conference (Vientiane) accepts Guangxi Zuang Autonomous Region into the GMS.


The 12th GMS Ministerial Conference (Dali) translates GMS Strategy into the 3 Cs: Enhancing Connectivity, Improving Competitiveness, and Building a Community.

Entry into force of the GMS Cross-Border Transport Agreement in all six GMS countries.

First GMS Working Group on Agriculture meeting held (Manila).


First GMS Summit of Leaders (Phnom Penh) endorses first GMS Strategic Framework (2002–2012) and launches Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management.


The 10th GMS Ministerial Conference (Yangon) includes agriculture as another sector of GMS cooperation.


GMS Business Forum is established.


Cross-Border Transport Agreement is signed by three countries—the Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam.


Eighth GMS Ministerial Conference endorses concept of economic corridors to stimulate growth.


Asian Financial Crisis


Telecommunications becomes another sector of GMS cooperation.


GMS ministers agree on institutional arrangements in Yangon meeting.


ADB approves first GMS projects: Yunnan Expressway (PRC) and Theun Hinboun Hydropower Project (Lao PDR).

Third GMS Ministerial Conference is held in Ha Noi, the first in a GMS country.


Second GMS Ministerial Conference (Manila) endorses the terms of reference of various sector studies.


First GMS Ministerial Conference convenes in Manila; endorses the Framework for GMS Cooperation.

Last Updated: 15 March 2018