|Population||96 million (2017)|
|GDP at PPP (current international dollars)||647 billion (2017)|
|GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars)||6,776 (2017)|
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Viet Nam has worked with its GMS partners to increase the productivity of its agriculture sector. The country has prioritized critical reforms that have resulted in steady growth in agricultural output, making Viet Nam the second largest exporter of rice in the world. As in other GMS countries, rural transport and market access have also improved agricultural and rural livelihoods.
Viet Nam seeks to develop its energy resources with better transparency, competition and economic efficiency in order to attract private investment, which will complement public sector investments, and ensure energy supply security for its rapidly growing domestic demand. Viet Nam has worked with its GMS neighbors to benefit from power trading arrangements being developed in the subregion, and on information sharing regarding the exploration, production, and transmission of energy resources. Viet Nam is also expanding electricity access to rural and remote areas, and boosting the share of renewable energy to total energy supply.
Similar to other fast-growing GMS economies, Viet Nam has had to respond to growing pressures on its environment and natural resources. The Government has enacted legislation and launched programs to mitigate the environmental impacts of urban expansion. Viet Nam, in coordination with its GMS partners, has invested in tree planting programs that are showing results in terms slowing the loss of forest cover.
With a large rural and young population that is in need of skills development and training, Viet Nam is seeking to train 27.5 million workers – including 10 million rural workers – by 2020. In coordination with its GMS partners, Viet Nam is focusing efforts on poverty reduction and gender mainstreaming in order to help vulnerable workers benefit from national training programs. As part of its national human resources development work, the country is also strengthening its emphasis on protecting migrant workers, both domestically and across borders.
Viet Nam is sharing knowledge with its GMS partners to develop its fixed and mobile telecommunications systems, as well as Internet service. To promote competition and universal access, the country is promoting more transparent telecommunications licensing procedures and fees (in line with its subregional neighbors), and efficient government regulations. Viet Nam takes part in GMS training programs designed to increase the expertise of officials across the subregion.
Making trade and investment easier between GMS countries is a key priority for Viet Nam. The country has worked with its subregional partners to harmonize and simplify trade and investment procedures.
Viet Nam is a vital link in the emerging subregional transport system of the GMS. It is home to key sections of major GMS corridors, such as the Ho Chi Minh City-Phnom Penh Highway, the East-West Transport Corridor, the Kunming-Haiphong Transport Corridor, and the Southern Coastal Corridor. The country has also embarked on the construction of major expressways to enhance its overall transport efficiency. Viet Nam also hosts important maritime links via its ports. Viet Nam’s fast-growing economy has been a strong contributor to the development of GMS economic corridors that have benefited its own people, and the citizens of neighboring countries.
Trade promotion agencies of Cambodia, India, Thailand, and Viet Nam held an event promoting cross-border trade connectivity between India and countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) on 19 August. Representatives from each country gave briefings on their business environment and exchanged experiences in facilitating trade and investment cooperation. Noting challenges caused by COVID-19, they urged governments to take measures to help their small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) move beyond national borders and expand markets.
The Governments of Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam inaugurated the Dakta Ok (Se Kong, Lao PDR) – Nam Giang (Quang Nam, Viet Nam) border gates on 14 August 2021, which were upgraded to international status this year. This new international cross-border point is expected to further boost bilateral trade, investment, and tourism, and promote opportunities for cooperation between Viet Nam’s central key economic zone and Lao PDR’s south-central region, as well as Thailand’s southeast region.
This publication provides an analysis of key challenges and opportunities for the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) to realize its development goals by 2030 and beyond.
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.
Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam (CLV) Leaders expressed their firm commitment to strengthen the CLV Development Triangle Area (DTA) in order to accelerate economic growth, alleviate poverty, and promote socio-cultural progress in the subregion. At the 11th CLV Summit held online on 9 December, they adopted a Joint Declaration that provides a foundation for the subregion’s socio-economic development plan until 2030 and the Tourism Development Plan. They also adopted the Development Plan for Sustainable Rubber Industry.
Cambodia and Viet Nam will continue to work together to ensure bilateral trade continues amidst border control measures implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the two countries have enforced stricter travel restrictions to tourists passing through their borders, Cambodia and Viet Nam remain open to the exchange of goods.
A press release from the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance announced plans to improve facilities at border gates with Thailand and Viet Nam.
Cambodia’s border crossing points with Thailand and Vietnam are crowded with traffic of cross-border transport and tourists. The country wants to develop the necessary infrastructure to manage this traffic flow to ease cross-border transport and boost trade activities.
The Economic and Financial Policy Committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Aun Pornmoniroth, approved the proposal.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and Viet Nam plan to upgrade two local border crossing points to international border crossings this year. The plan was announced during the 29th annual border meeting of the two neighboring countries on 26 December 2019 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.
The Dak Ta-Ok (Lao PDR)–Nam Giang (Viet Nam) between Xekong (Lao PDR) and Quang Nam (Viet Nam) provinces will be the first international crossing point in Xekong. The neighboring countries plan to open this upgraded international border crossing in the first quarter of 2020.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $3,000,000 technical assistance to support the implementation of initiatives to accelerate trade and cross-border investment between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of Cambodia, Thailand, Viet Nam—member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) program—and India. This ADB-administered technical assistance is financed by the United Kingdom Fund for Asia Regional Trade and Connectivity under the Regional Cooperation and Integration Financing Partnership Facility.