GMS Program Achievements under the Ha Noi Action Plan 2018-2022  

The Ha Noi Action Plan 2018–2022 reflected the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Program’s agenda in the last 5 years of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework 2012–2022. It laid down the agenda for the medium term and guided the Regional Investment Framework in the last 5 years. This feature is based on the Report on Recent Outcomes of GMS Cooperation presented at the 7th GMS Summit of Leaders by Mr. Sok Chenda Sophea, Minister in Charge of the GMS Program, Royal Government of Cambodia on 9 September 2021.

 

Achievements of the GMS Program under the Ha Noi Action Plan 2018-2022

1. The GMS Program has attained solid progress in key GMS sectors:

Health Cooperation

  • Launch of the GMS Health Cooperation Strategy 2019-2023 in October 2019 to guide the Program as it faces new health challenges requiring innovative responses.
  • Supported GMS countries’ rapid response to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, aiding their public health systems and economies. Immediate pandemic responses have included financing for procurement of materials and medical equipment for diagnosis and protection; and training and capacity building.

Environment

Transport

  • Transport infrastructure remained a priority under the GMS Program. On November 2018, the GMS Transport Sector Strategy 2030: Toward a Seamless, Efficient, Reliable, and Sustainable GMS Transport System was launched. This strategy provides a common framework for GMS cooperation in the transport sector.
  • Between 2018 and 2021, 11 projects valued at $2 billion were completed.
  • The Greater Mekong Railway Association continues to work on completing GMS rail connectivity. The Program is supporting completion of the Framework Agreement on Cross-Border Railway Transport Connectivity in the GMS.

Energy

  • Support for the creation of a regional power market. Significant progress was made toward developing a regional grid code, harmonized performance standards, and necessary regulatory framework.

Trade and Transport Facilitation

Agriculture

Tourism

  • Endorsement of the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy 2016-2025 in September 2017 to enable more competitive, balanced, and sustainable destination development.[3]
  • Continued promotion of secondary tourism destinations, tourism startup firms, tourism technology innovations, and strengthened tourism vocational training.
  • Support for a variety of mitigating measures: the huge growth in Tourism in the GMS in 2019—reflected by the 80 million international tourist arrivals and $100 billion in tourist spending—was reversed with a decline of 80% in tourist arrivals in 2020 due to the pandemic. GMS countries have agreed in principle to enhance the status of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office as an international organization. A Mekong Tourism Recovery Communications Plan has also been prepared to guide dissemination of accurate and engaging information to support a safe and sustainable GMS tourism recovery.

Urban Development

 

2. The GMS Program has promoted a focused spatial strategy for the development, expansion, and deepening of GMS Economic Corridors. Under this initiative, the following were achieved:

  • A comprehensive review of the configuration of the GMS network of economic corridors was published in February 2018. This resulted in the expansion of the corridors to include important gateways and economic hubs, and an assessment of the physical state of the corridors.
  • A multi-sector strategy and action plan for the border area along the GMS North-South Economic Corridor between Myanmar and the People’s Republic of China was completed. This identified measures to transform this corridor section into a full-fledged economic corridor to generate investment, employment, and incomes for the local population.
  • Promotion of domestic connectivity to expand opportunities for local populations living in rural areas and small towns nearby corridors through a number of transport projects, and by developing economic activities along GMS corridors, and supporting transformation of GMS secondary towns into competitive tourism destinations.
  • GMS Economic Corridors Forums were organized with stakeholders from the private sector and local governments to discuss economic corridor development and monitoring.

 

3. The GMS Program has attained improvements in planning, programming, and monitoring, including improving the coverage, principles, and processes of the Regional Investment Framework (RIF) 2022. The  RIF 2022 fourth progress report and update includes:

  • 204 projects worth $78 billion with 76% financing already identified.
  • Of these 204 projects, 63% of the projects are either ongoing or completed with 15% private sector financing up from 42% ongoing or completed projects with 8% private sector financing in 2018.
  • Work on results and monitoring frameworks is underway.

 

4. The GMS Program has enhanced institutional arrangements and partnerships. These include:

  • Adoption of greater flexibility in addressing emerging concerns and requirements, such as establishing a new Working Group on Health Cooperation. Partnerships with private sector and development partners have continued to expand.
  • Strengthened role of the Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) as an oversight and coordination body for the sector working groups. The SOM annually reports progress to the Ministerial Conference.
  • Expanding the production and dissemination of knowledge products, with improved online presence, including a comprehensive study which provides possible ways for accelerating GMS development. Capacity building for GMS government officials have also been expanded with more than 20 training programs organized in areas such as tourism management, special economic zones, the 4th Industrial Revolution and economic corridor development.

 


[1] This was reported at the 6th GMS Summit of Leaders in March 2018.

[2] This was reported at the 6th GMS Summit of Leaders in March 2018.

[3] This was reported at the 6th GMS Summit of Leaders in March 2018.

 


Last Updated: 8 October 2021