Transport and Trade Facilitation

Countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion are working to make the movement of goods and services across borders faster, easier, cheaper, more compliant, and more inclusive.


Over the past decade, the Greater Mekong Subregion’s (GMS) road network has expanded by almost 200,000 kilometers, and overland road freight has almost doubled. Yet despite these advances, remaining barriers to trade and transport continue to inhibit the subregion’s full economic potential and the cost of cross-border land transport remains high.

With much of the hard infrastructure in place, there has been a greater focus in recent years on the rules, regulations, agreements, and other “software” to make the movement of goods and services across borders in the GMS faster, easier, cheaper, more compliant, and more inclusive.

The GMS Transport and Trade Facilitation Action Program is working to overcome existing barriers in order to link the subregion to the ASEAN Economic Community’s single market and production base, as well as other regional cooperation initiatives.

The program is helping to expand transport and traffic rights along the GMS Cross Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA). route network; simplify and modernize customs procedures and border management; and strengthen the capacity of sanitary and phytosanitary agencies in the subregion.

To facilitate progressive implementation of the CBTA, the GMS Transport Ministers as members of the CBTA Joint Committee have agreed to an “Early Harvest” memorandum of understanding to allow the issuance and mutual recognition of GMS Road Transport Permits along the CBTA Protocol 1 route network and the border crossing points along these routes starting August 2018.

Related

‘Early Harvest’ Implementation of the Cross-Border Transport Facilitation Agreement

Joint Committee for the CBTA

Statement of the Seventh Meeting of the Joint Committee for the CBTA (13 March 2019)

Focal Persons at the Asian Development Bank

Trade Facilitation

  • Kanya Sasradipoera and Taro Sekiguchi
    Public Management, Financial Sector, & Trade Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Dorothea Lazaro
    Public Management, Financial Sector, & Regional Coop Division,
    East Asia Department

Transport Facilitation

    Other Concerned Staff & Consultants

    • Antonio Ressano
      Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
      Southeast Asia Department
    • Alma Canarejo
      Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
      Southeast Asia Department/GMS Secretariat

    Send inquiries to GMS Secretariat.

    Representative image only. Photo by ADB.

    Cambodia Seeks Further ADB Support to Boost Cross-border Facilities

    Mr. Sun Chanthol, Cambodia Senior Minister and Minister of Public Works and Transport, has requested the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for further support for the development of Cambodia's cross-border facilities. Cambodia aims to ease logistics and boost transportation to expand within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and the ASEAN region.  

    GMS in the News

    Representative image only. Photo by Xinhua/Chen Yehua via Global Times

    First Phase of the China-Thailand High Speed Rail Underway

    A planned 873-kilometer China-Thailand High Speed Rail will connect Bangkok, Thailand, to Kunming city in Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China (PRC). On 29 March, transportation authorities from the Government of Thailand and construction firms from the PRC signed the construction agreement for the first phase of the railway.  

    GMS in the News

    First container ship received at Vung Ang Port (Lao-Viet International Port). Photo by Nhan Dan Newspaper via Viet Nam Times

    Viet Nam International Port in Ha Tinh Receives First Container Cargo

    Vung Ang Port (Lao-Viet International Port), a sea port in Ha Tinh, Viet Nam, that will facilitate cargo transportation from Viet Nam to Lao PDR, Thailand's northeastern region, and Viet Nam's central provinces, received its first container ship on 10 April. The shipment was transported from Tan Cang Port in Hai Phong, Viet Nam. The Vung Ang Port can accommodate cargo ships of up to 50,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage) and container ships of up to 2,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit).

    GMS in the News

    New PRC-Viet Nam Cross-border Rail Freight Service Launched

    A new cross-border rail freight service from Suzhou, People’s Republic of China (PRC), to Hanoi, Viet Nam was launched by the East Asia Region section of Nippon Express. Suzhou West Railway Station is located amid industrial clusters of eastern PRC.  

    The use of rail transport makes possible reliable lead times of 8-10 days. Ocean freight from PRC to Southeast Asia is usually challenged with constraints in space and reliable transport routes and schedule.  

    GMS in the News

    Cambodia, Lao PDR, Viet Nam Leaders Vow to Boost Cooperation against COVID-19 and Strengthen Trade

    Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, Lao PDR Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, and Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc held a virtual discussion on 10 March 2021. They lauded their growing relationship and agreed to further strengthen their cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 and in other sectors, including connectivity, energy, and trade and investment.  

    Lao PDR expressed appreciation for Cambodia’s medical supply donation to help them combat COVID-19.  

    GMS in the News

    National Single Window Simplifies and Streamlines Lao PDR’s Cross-border Trade

    The National Single Window in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) aims to simplify and streamline the import, export, and transit of all goods and cargo at all international borders and airports in the Lao PDR. The National Single Window is linked to the ASYCUDA system. It facilitates customs clearance and highlights transparency in trade.  

    GMS in the News

    Lao PDR, Viet Nam to Open New International Border Crossing

    The Governments of Lao PDR and Viet Nam will upgrade the Dakta-ok-Nam Giang border crossing between Sekong (Lao PDR) and Quang Nam (Viet Nam) provinces to international status, with the Sekong province opening its first international border crossing on 24 March. This upgrade will further ease the movement of goods and people between the two countries, and shorten the distance between Thailand and Viet Nam via the southern Lao PDR route by more than 100 kilometres.

    GMS in the News

    Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS) 2021: Innovation through Collaboration: Planning for Inclusive Post-COVID-19 Recovery

    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its partners will collectively zero in on strategies and policy responses that countries can adopt to lay the groundwork for post-COVID-19 recovery at the upcoming Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS) Innovation through Collaboration: Planning for Inclusive Post-COVID-19 Recovery

    GMS in the News

    24th Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion Subregional Transport Forum

    The Ministry of Transport (MOT) of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) jointly organized the 24th Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Subregional Transport Forum (STF-24) virtually held on 21 January 2021. The theme of STF-24 was “Forging Greater Transport Connectivity Toward the Visions of GMS 2030”.