What’s New in the Greater Mekong Subregion
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 GMS e-Newsletter
  What’s New in the Greater Mekong Subregion
  February 2023


$30 billion in 30 years and looking forward to 2030

In its 30th year, the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation Program pursues the directions and priorities set in the GMS Program Strategic Framework 2030 (GMS-2030). GMS Program investment and technical assistance projects have reached $30.3 billion. 
Over three decades of regional cooperation. View important program milestones.
See how the GMS Program supports the development of high-priority projects in the subregion.

25th GMS Ministerial Conference
On 6-8 December 2022, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) hosted the 25th GMS Ministerial Conference (MC-25) in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. It was attended by the Ministers and senior officials of the GMS countries, development partners, private sector representatives, and other stakeholders. The MC-25 plenary on 8 December discussed the recent achievements of the Program, new initiatives, MC-25 deliverables, the GMS Business Council report, and the Development Partners’ Meeting (DPM) outcomes. 
As part of the 30th GMS Anniversary celebration, Lao PDR hosted a visit to a GMS project and Luang Prabang’s famed Kuang Si Falls, and held a gala dinner on 7 December. A Senior Officials’ Meeting conducted a final review of deliverables and arrangements of the 25th GMS Ministerial Conference on 6 December. 

Development Partners' Meeting

The DPM, held on 7 December, identified priority initiatives for actively supporting the GMS Program. It also considered the findings and recommended actions of the study, Deepening Development Partners’ Engagement in the GMS Program, and discussed priority activities identified under the new GMS Regional Investment Framework 2023-2025 (RIF 2025).

13th Economic Corridors Forum

The Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) hosted the GMS 13th Economic Corridors Forum (ECF-13) via videoconference on 3 November. The Forum discussed initiatives along the GMS economic corridors to enhance connectivity, competitiveness, and community directed towards economic recovery by digitalization, integration, and inclusiveness. 



5th Working Group on Health Cooperation Meeting
ADB and the Ministry of Health of Cambodia convened the 5th GMS Working Group on Health Cooperation Meeting on 13–14 December 2022 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The theme of the meeting was “Looking Forward—Envisaging GMS Health Cooperation through to 2030.”It discussed (i) revisions to health cooperation in the GMS 2024–2030; (ii) reinforcement of the GMS countries’ commitment to the WGHC Workplan for 2023; and (iii) updating of the GMS Regional Investment Framework. 

Workshop on Operationalizing the Water-Food-Energy Nexus in the Context of Climate-smart Agriculture
This webinar held virtually on 24 November 2022 introduced approaches to operationalize Nexus thinking. The workshop presented a few methods and tools ranging from simple approaches that can be swiftly deployed during investment planning processes to complex systems models.

Training Workshop on Lancang-Mekong Agro Products Quality and Safety Inspection and Testing
The Foreign Economic Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the PRC, in partnership with the Mekong Institute and with support from the GMS Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security Program, hosted this virtual training workshop on 15-19 August 2022. The training aimed to strengthen the know-how and capacities across Lancang-Mekong countries in agro-product quality assurance and safety inspection and testing.

Trade and Investment
First Meeting of the GMS Task Force on Trade and Investment
This meeting was held on 28 October 2022 via videoconference. 

26th Working Group on Environment
The 26th Annual Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion Working Group on Environment was held on 26–28 October in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting discussed priorities for action to enhance subregional cooperation on adaptation and resilience as an input to climate change COP27 in Egypt and for conserving biodiversity through climate-smart landscape approaches as an input to COP15 to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal.

GMS Knowledge Network Meeting
This first steering committee meeting of the GMS Knowledge Network was held on 21 October 2022

GMS Senior Officials’ Meeting
This meeting was held on 18 October 2022 via video conference.  
Mekong Tourism Forum 2022
The Mekong Tourism Forum 2022 was held in Quang Nam, Hoi An, Viet Nam, on 12–13 October 2022. It was hosted by Viet Nam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in collaboration with the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) and supported by ADB. Taking on the theme “Rebuild Tourism, Rebound with Resilience,” the event brought together regional tourism leaders to rethink the rebuilding of tourism in the GMS by adopting resilience-based approaches and effectively leveraging technology to create a more sustainable and inclusive sector.

50th Meeting of Tourism Working Group
The Government of Viet Nam, with the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the MTCO as co-organizer, hosted the 50th Meeting of the GMS Tourism Working Group on 11 October 2022 in Quang Nam, Viet Nam. The meeting was attended by senior and mid-level officials representing the National Tourism Organizations of the six GMS countries, MTCO, development partners and organizations including the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), and ADB. TWG-50 shared updates from GMS countries and PATA presented the current state of the travel industry in the Asia Pacific region, particularly GMS, and the latest forecasts of visitor arrivals over the next five years. ADB updated the meeting on recent approvals under the GMS Tourism Support Program.

29th Meeting of the Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee/ Energy Transition Task Force Meeting
GMS countries convened the 29th and final meeting of the GMS Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee. Hosted by the Royal Government of Cambodia, the meeting was held on 5-6 July 2022, in-person in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and via video conference. RPTCC transitions to the GMS Energy Transition Taskforce (ETTF).




Policy Dialogue on Plastic Waste Management towards Circular Economy
24 February 2023: In-person (Vientiane, Lao PDR) and Video Conference  

Policy Dialogue on Air Pollution Control
23 February 2023: In-person (Vientiane, Lao PDR) and Video Conference  

GMS ETTF Transition Training
22–24 February 2023: Bangkok, Thailand  

Policy Dialogue on Green Freight
22–23 February 2023: In-person (Vientiane, Lao PDR) and Video Conference  

Policy Dialogue on Low-carbon Agriculture
22 February 2023: In-person (Vientiane, Lao PDR) and Video Conference  

Policy Dialogue and Demonstration Projects Orientation on Community-based Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management in the GMS
21–22 February 2023: In-person (Vientiane, Lao PDR) and Video Conference  

DownloadGMS Program Calendar of Events



GMS Trade Project in Lao PDR Boosts Knowledge in Plant Health

The ADB-financed GMS trade facilitation project in Lao PDR supports an initiative to build the country’s capacity in sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) handling by making quality education in this sector available to Lao students. Support given by the project includes helping produce plant health experts who can monitor the country’s plants. Graduates have gone on to pass their knowledge to local Lao farmers all over the country and teach Lao PDR’s next generation the best methods for the safe growing, processing, and distribution of food. Read more

GMS Subregional Transport Forum Continues to Support the Improvement of Road Safety in the Subregion

The 25th Subregional Transport Forum of the GMS Program highlighted the importance of behavioral interventions and stakeholders’ involvement to the reduction of road crashes and fatalities in the subregion. STF has been providing assistance in improving road safety for GMS countries since 2011. Read more.


ADB Leads $135 Million Climate Financing Package to Support Electric Mobility in Viet Nam 

ADB to Support Preservation of Guilin in PRC 

Conserving Nature’s Resources and Securing Livelihoods in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic 

The World Needs a Path Forward on Biodiversity 


Human Resources

Improved Labor Management Initiatives Aim to Attract More Migrant Workers to Thailand 

Southeast Asia Green Recovery Can Create More Than 30 million Jobs by 2030—ADB


Cambodia Welcomed Close to 1.6 Million Foreign Tourists before End of 2022

LaoSafe Accreditation Welcomes Tourists Back to Lao PDR 

Urban Development

Lao PDR, Supthavy Construction Sign Agreement for the Fourth GMS Corridor Towns Development Project

Boosting Livelihoods in Lao People’s Democratic Republic through Better Water Infrastructure 

New Smart City Planned for Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor 


Digital Skills Critical for Jobs in Asia and the Pacific, Says ADB–LinkedIn Report 


ADB Holds Lecture on the Establishment and Early Years of the GMS Program

ADB Launches New Country Partnership Strategy for Viet Nam





GMS Gender Strategy
The GMS Gender Strategy is designed to support the GMS‑2030 ambition of equitable sharing of benefits, by identifying opportunities to advance gender equality in GMS program activities.

Establishing the Task Force on Trade and Investment 
GMS-2030 mandates the GMS Program to continue its efforts to develop trade and investment facilitation in the subregion and beyond.

GMS Knowledge Network
The GMS Knowledge Network aims to provide expertise, stimulate discussion, and raise awareness on relevant and emerging issues in the GMS.

GMS Digital Economy Cooperation Initiative
Digitalization is central to the efforts of the GMS to build a robust, regionally integrated economy in 2030, one that is better able to withstand a competitive external environment, fully equipped to seize new opportunities, and capable of addressing the medium- to long-term challenges of economic and social risks brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

GMS Regional Investment Framework 2023–2025
The GMS Regional Investment Framework 2023–2025 (RIF 2025) is a three-year rolling pipeline of near-term priority projects which align with the strategies, goals, and thematic priorities set in the GMS‑2030. This new RIF incorporates new project criteria and has been prepared through an extensive consultative process.

The GMS Program Strategy 2030: Results Framework
The GMS Secretariat, in close coordination with GMS countries, prepared a results framework to trace the implementation of GMS-2030 and its progress toward achieving the vision and program mission. The framework will monitor and steer the GMS strategy, and will be supported by detailed sector-specific results frameworks that will be developed by the respective GMS sector working groups.

Deepening Development Partners' Engagement in the GMS Program
The GMS Secretariat initiated a study to explore new approaches to strengthening development partnerships in the GMS Program based on comprehensive consultations with development partners and member countries. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the study.




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

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