What’s New in the Greater Mekong Subregion
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 GMS e-Newsletter
   What’s New in the Greater Mekong Subregion
   March 2021

Pandemic Partners: Regional Cooperation has Helped Asia and the Pacific Mitigate and Recover from COVID-19

The region’s success with decades of growth and poverty reduction is due in large part to the international movement of trade, capital, people, knowledge, and resources – not only within the region but with the rest of the world. This type of regional cooperation is also a powerful tool in addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Read more

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. To be held virtually on 17-18 March 2021, SEADS will explore how Southeast Asian nations can (i) most effectively revitalize businesses, create sustainable job opportunities, and position themselves for inclusive and robust recovery in the wake of COVID-19; (ii) harness “Big Data” and new technology to support growth; and (iii) better ensure widespread vaccine access. Register for freeRead more.


Cross border traffic at Lao Cai between Viet Nam and People's Republic of China has increased since the completion of the Hanoi–Lao Cai Expressway. Photo by ADB.

24th Meeting of the GMS Subregional Transport Forum

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and ADB jointly organized the 24th Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Subregional Transport Forum virtually on 21 January 2021 with the theme “Forging Greater Transport Connectivity Toward the Visions of GMS 2030”. Key meeting outcomes include a review of the pipeline of GMS Transport Sector Projects in the GMS Regional Investment Framework 2022, discussion of transport-related aspects of the draft GMS Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework 2030 and the draft GMS COVID–19 Response and Recovery Plan 2021–2023, and a report on the progress of the Cross Border Transport Facilitation Agreement “Early Harvest” implementation. Read more.


The community-based tourism area Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province was first supported in 2001 by the GMS Sustainable Tourism Development Project. Photo by ADB.

46th Meeting of the GMS Tourism Working Group

The Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) with assistance of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) virtually convened the 46th Meeting of the GMS Tourism Working Group on 3 December 2020. The meeting provided updates on country situations on COVID-19 and planned tourism recovery initiatives and strategies, presented MTCO’s initiatives and programs, and reviewed ADB and other development partner support for the tourism sector in the Mekong subregion. Read more.

MIST Program to Highlight Innovations in Sustainable Tourism 

The MIST program has been reimagined as “Mekong Innovations in Sustainable Tourism,” and shifts its focus to highlight innovations in sustainable tourism, resilience, and climate change in the GMS. The MTCO opened the latest round of nominations on 1 February 2021. Nominate initiatives that can be applied to driving sustainability and resilience in the Mekong subregion at the MIST website. Entries must be an operating initiative or project. Nominations are accepted until 31 April. Read more.

Nominations for 2021 Mekong Hero Open

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Mekong Hero. Launched in 2020 by the MTCO and Destination Mekong, the ‘Mekong Heroes’ program aims to celebrate passionate individuals in Mekong tourism who work tirelessly behind the scenes to inspire and influence, modeling new ways of conceiving and doing tourism better. Nominees could be CEOs or senior government officials, or they might be entrepreneurs or small business owners leaders that have made a significant contribution to developing tourism sustainability in the Mekong Region. Read more.

Experience Mekong Showcases 2021 Opens Voting for Nominated Mekong Businesses

The MTCO is inviting the public to vote for their favorite GMS small businesses to determine the six final businesses that will be recognized for the 2021 Experience Mekong Showcases. The public gets to learn about and choose from the 72 finalists from the Experience Mekong Showcases voting pageRead more.

GMS Regional Grid Code

The GMS Regional Grid Code is a key regulatory instrument required to support the pursuit of the GMS energy sector's policy objectives. These objectives are set out in the Inter-Governmental Agreement on Regional Power Trade in the GMS signed on 3 November 2002. Read more

Plus: Harmonizing Power Systems in the Greater Mekong Subregion: Regulatory and Pricing Measures to Facilitate TradeTransforming Power Development Planning in the Greater Mekong Subregion: A Strategic and Integrated Approach 
4th Meeting of the GMS Urban Development Working Group

The 4th Meeting of the GMS Urban Development Working Group, held virtually on 17 December 2020, discussed the impact of COVID-19 on selected public utilities and how these have responded to address challenges on their operations, financial management and investments. The meeting also underscored how COVID-19 has made city governments approach smart city development and the introduction of digital solutions for urban planning and service delivery. Read more

7th GMS Leaders' Summit Postponed

The Kingdom of Cambodia (Host Country) regrettably decided to postpone the upcoming 7th GMS Leaders’ Summit due to the current COVID-19 transmission in the country that requires the immediate and full attention of the government. The new date of the Summit will be announced at a later stage. 

DownloadGMS Program Calendar of Events


GMS e-Newsletter provides updates on activities and major developments in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

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