What’s New in the Greater Mekong Subregion
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 GMS e-Newsletter
   What’s New in the Greater Mekong Subregion
   March 2020
Motorcycle tires being manufactured inside the Camel Rubber Vietnam Co. Ltd factory at the Lao Bao Commercial Area in Huong Hoa District, Quang Tri, Viet Nam. The tires produced by the company are sold locally and are also exported to Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand, European and South American countries, as well as to other countries in the ASEAN region. Photo: ADB.

ADB Promotes Trade and Cross-border Investment between SMEs in the GMS and India

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. It supports ADB’s Strategy 2030 of fostering regional cooperation and integration.

There is huge potential to further boost trade and cross-border investment between GMS countries and India because of their close geographical, historical, and cultural linkages. India's Act East policy promotes economic cooperation, cultural ties, and strategic relationships with countries in Asia and the Pacific. India sees the GMS as its gateway to the rest of Southeast Asia. Closer integration with Cambodia, Thailand, and Viet Nam opens export diversification opportunities for India, as well as potential linkages to global value chains in East Asia. The Indian market offers GMS countries a large and growing market and a source of foreign direct investment. Read more.

Related: Regional: Supporting Internationalization of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Linking India and the Greater Mekong SubregionHow Globalizing SMEs Can Link India with Mekong Economies

Economic Benefits of Tightening Axle Load Control in the Greater Mekong Subregion

A study looks at the costs of overloading and how improved policies and enforcement can give an economic boost to Mekong countries. Read more.



26th Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee Meeting Held to Further Cooperation and Enhance Power Trade in the GMS

The 26th Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee (RPTCC 26) Meeting was held to further cooperation and enhance power trade among members of the GMS. Hosted by Viet Nam's Electricity Regulatory Authority, participants included energy officials from GMS member countries and representatives of ADB and development partners.

Interim results of the GMS Regional Energy Master Plan study reflected that improving the region’s transmission lines, increasing generation, and facilitating more power trade could lead to savings estimated at $20 billion. The study is being conducted to develop a regional generation and transmission master plan for the GMS region. Read more.

Download: GMS Energy Sector Assessment, Strategy, and Road Map
Plus: RPTCC–26 Conference Proceedings


GMS Working Group on Health Cooperation Emphasizes Effective Implementation of the GMS Health Cooperation Strategy 2019-2023

The Third Meeting of the GMS Working Group on Health Cooperation, jointly organized by the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand and ADB, was held on 12–13 December in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting emphasized strengthening regional and country health systems in the GMS through effective implementation of the GMS Health Cooperation Strategy 2019-2023. The next steps for the working group are to finalize the Strategic Results Framework and Regional Action Plan for implementation of the strategy. Read more.

Plus: Agenda, Conference Proceedings
RelatedIdentifying Strategies and Policies to Improve Health Services’ Access and Availability for Ethnic Groups and Vulnerable Populations in the GMSImplementing the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases and Public Health Emergencies in the GMS


GMS Working Group on Urban Development Discusses ADB's Healthy Oceans Action Plan, ASEAN Smart City Initiative, and the Proposed GMS Long-Term Strategic Framework

The Third Meeting of the GMS Working Group on Urban Development was held on 5-6 December 2019 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Representatives from ADB and GMS countries discussed the salient features of the proposed GMS long-term strategic framework (GMS 2030) and presented the Regional Investment Framework 2022 Second Progress Report and Update, the ASEAN Smart City Initiative and financing opportunities in the GMS, and the ADB-funded Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies

The Healthy Oceans discussion identified entry points for aligning the ADB Action Plan with ongoing and future operations of urban and water sectors in the GMS. The ASEAN Smart City Initiative discussion focused on identifying entry points through ongoing and future urban development projects in the GMS. The working group identified several next steps, namely the undertaking of pilots in selected cities. Read more.

Related: Countries Undertake Assessment of Plastic Pollution in the Mekong River



Promoting Women's Participation in Sustainable Tourism Development

Women in tourism-potential areas have had limited access to skills training, facilities, or the business services needed to access jobs in tourism-related service and production enterprises. The GMS Sustainable Tourism Development Project sought to help the governments of Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) and Viet Nam find a sustainable, culturally and environmentally sound, pro-poor approach to tourism and the preservation of natural and cultural heritage. It implemented a gender action plan with mechanisms to promote women’s participation in decision-making and increase their access to tourism-related economic opportunities. Read more.

New Irrigation Systems and Information are Helping Revive Livelihoods in Lao PDR

The GMS Flood and Drought Risk Management and Mitigation Project, supported by a $36.5 million loan and grant from ADB, is helping communities living in the floodplain of the Mak Hiao River improve their agricultural productivity, economic activity, and livelihoods. This ADB assistance supported the design and implementation of measures to help farmers better manage floods and droughts in the provinces of Khammouan and Savannakhet, as well as in Vientiane. Read more.

Related: Four Ways Smart Technology Can Help Farmers

ADB Initiates Coronavirus Response 

ADB approved $2 million in new funding to support efforts to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus (nCoV). The funds will supplement an ongoing regional technical assistance and strengthen response capacity in Cambodia, the People's Republic of China, the Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. 

The assistance will fund the development of recommendations for improved outbreak investigation and surveillance, including in rural areas, and the strengthening of health systems’ resilience and capacity for epidemic response. It will support the supply of diagnostic and laboratory equipment for rapid testing to help combat the outbreak. Read more

Related: Novel CoronavirusGMS Risk Communication Specialists Stress Importance of Regional Approach for Health Emergencies


Mekong Institute’s Capacity Building Activities Continue to Expand Knowledge in the GMS

Lao PDR, Viet Nam Plan to Open New International Borders
Lao PDR Connects 195 MW Electricity to Cambodia’s National Grid

ADB Boosts Financing for Solar Power Plant in Viet Nam



1st GMS Senior Officials’ Meetings to prepare for the 24th GMS Ministerial Meeting
11th Economic Corridors’ Forum
First 7th Summit Task Force

30 March 2020: Video Conference

DownloadGMS Program Calendar of Events for 2020

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

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