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Sunday, October 22 2017
Tiếng Việt
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Date 21/09/2017-16:59:00 PM
Greater GMS achievements through stronger and pragmatic cooperation
(MPI) – On September 20th 2017, the 22nd Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Ministerial Conference was held in Ha Noi with the participation of the Ministers, Chief delegations of the six countries in GMS, Vice President of Asian Development Bank (ADB), high level leaders of GMS’ countries, development partners who pays attention and supports to the region… Minister of the MPI Nguyen Chi Dung attended and chaired the Meeting.

Minister Nguyen Chi Dung speaking at the Meeting. Photo: Duc Trung (MPI)

Speaking at the meeting, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung assessed that GMS Economic Cooperation Program is the most prominent and successful initiative among those on regional cooperation and integration. The Program is increasingly developing, both in deepth and width, including programs, projects, cooperation activities on almost socio – economic fields of the GMS countries. GMS Program has obtained many achievements, created the connectivity among the six countries through projects on transportation infrastructure connection, power/ energy, tourism, agricultural development, environmental protection, human resources,… strengthened community connections and contributed to improvement of competitiveness of the GMS countries.

Minister Nguyen Chi Dung highly appreciated the ADB’s role in the success of the Program. ADB is not only the initiator of the program, but also plays the role of coordination, advisor, an effective catalyst during the implementation. ADB is also the biggest development partner of GMS countries, actively providing assistances both in technology and finance, step by step realizing the content of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program.

Within the framework of GMS Program, many important cooperative documents have been approved such as: Cross-Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA), Strategy Framework for 10 years and Regional Investment Framework for 10 years (2012-2022), 2014-2018 RIF Action Plan, Strategy Cooperation Framework for human resources, environment, urban development in the region…

However, there are still many difficulties and challenges. All the six GMS countries should collaborate closely and do their utmost to mobilize resources from development partners and private sector, creating motivation and belief for the GMS cooperation and well carrying out the cooperative contents in the coming time.

The six Ministers, Chief delegation and the Vice President of ADB taking a souvernir photo.
Photo: Duc Trung (MPI)

Six countries — Kingdom of Cambodia, the People's Republic of China (specifically Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), Lao PDR, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Kingdom of Thailand, and Socialist Republic of Vietnam — entered the program in 1992, with assistance from the ADB to enhance economic relations. Under the program, investment projects worth more than $19.1 billion have so far been undertaken. Celebrating 25 years of economic cooperation, six countries acknowledge the achievements of the program that has created a strong bond of openness, mutual trust and shared commitment and mutual benefits the Mekong river bringing.

“Although ADB facilitated the process, the initiative was driven by the countries themselves, with a sharp focus on joint action to address common challenges,” said ADB Vice-President Stephen Groff. “The GMS Program has been guided by the 3 Cs: connectivity, competitiveness, and community. This overarching approach to regional development produced significant results.”

At the meeting, the ministers welcomed the preparation of the Ha Noi Action Plan (HAP) 2018-2022, which calls for an expansion of economic corridors to boost connectivity between countries as well as within rural and urban centers to ensure a more equitable distribution of the benefits of economic growth. They also endorsed the GMS Regional Investment Framework 2022, to support the HAP through a pipeline of 222 investment and technical assistance projects valued at US$ 64 billion. The Ministers urged greater engagement of development partners and private sector to meet financing requirements in the GMS.

The ministers extended strong support for a new GMS Transport Sector Strategy that aims to build a seamless, efficient, reliable, and sustainable GMS transport system. This will be achieved through the improvement of the subregion’s links with South Asia and other parts of Southeast Asia, better cross-border transport, strengthened intermodal transport links and logistics development, as well as enhanced road safety. The GMS Tourism Sector Strategy 2016-2025 was also endorsed to enable more competitive, balanced, and sustainable destination development. The ministers welcomed the progress towards the formal establishment of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office as an intergovernmental organization. In agriculture, they welcomed the endorsement by the Second GMS Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting of a strategy to promote safe and environment-friendly agriculture products, and a plan to strengthen value chain integration involving smallholder farmers, rural women, as well as small and medium-sized agro-enterprises./.

Nguyen Huong
Ministry of Planning and Investment

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