(MPI) - At the sixth Greater Mekong Subregion Summit (GMS 6) held on March 31th, 2018, in Hanoi, GMS leaders reviewed and approved the Hanoi Action Plan period 2018-2022, proposed strategic orientations and adjusted priority activities for the next five years of the GMS Cooperation Strategic Framework 2012-2022. To deploy the Plan, the Ministers of GMS countries have approved the GMS Regional Investment Framework until 2022, including 01 lists of successive programs and projects with 227 investment and technical support projects with an indicative cost of 66 billion USD.
Minister Nguyen Chi Dung speaking at the Summit: MPI
Strengthening cooperation, creating deep and broad connections in GMS
In the Report on the results of the GMS Cooperation Program at the Summit, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said that GMS countries are witnessing the development of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program initiative which has been developing increasingly for over 25 years, both in width and depth. Although there have been many initiatives on regional cooperation and integration, the GMS Economic Cooperation Program is still an outstanding one with programs, projects and cooperation activities in almost socio-economic fields.
The GMS countries have accomplished various achievements in many cooperation areas, creating a deep and wide connection through connection projects on transportation infrastructure, electricity, tourism, agricultural development, environment protection, human resources development, etc, significantly reinforcing community connections and significantly enhancing the competitiveness of GMS’s economies.
Regarding transportation connection, many important transportation infrastructure projects have been completed or are being deployed, including a number of essential bridges linking Laos and Myanmar, connecting Vietnam and China, branches, roads in the Southern Economic Corridor, the East-West Economic Corridor, railways linking China and Laos, China and Thailand and a series of highways at Laos and Vietnam.
The GMS Transportation Strategy to 2030 has been developed and approved by the GMS countries, including recommended cooperation directions and principles to better meet the needs and overcome the current as well as future challenges in GMS transportation cooperation.
Regarding energy and electricity connection, GMS countries are continuing to work actively together to build a sustainable coordination and cooperation mechanism in the electricity sector. Bilateral trade of electricity between GMS countries continues to be expanded with two ongoing projects, the 220kV transmission line linking Ban Hatxan with Pleiku and the 500kV Nabong substation.
In terms of competitiveness in the agricultural sector, Strategy to promoting a safe, environmentally friendly agricultural chain and the Siem Reap Action Plan period 2018-2022 were passed at the 2nd GMS Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting, which was held in September 2017, in order to enhance the competitive advantage of GMS countries through integrating value chain, benefiting small farmers, rural women and small and medium-sized enterprises in the GMS area.
In the field of tourism, the implementing of diversified tourism cooperation programs and further strengthening the role of the Mekong Tourism Coordination Office have contributed to the increase of the number of tourists to 60 million in 2016. The GMS Tourism Strategy and Action Plan period 2016-2025 were adopted in 2017, in order to orient the cooperation activities in tourist destination management in a more sustainable, balanced and competitive way. The GMS countries are working together to develop the Mekong Tourism Coordination Office into an intergovernmental organization.
The GMS countries acknowledge the financial and knowledge support of Development Partners.
The Summit acknowledged the continuous financial and knowledge support of the Development Partners, of which ADB provided 1.65 billion USD from ADB's own funds for GMS projects in the last three years and helped to mobilize 773 million USD from other Development Partners. The recent newly established development finance organizations have also expressed great interest in the GMS area, such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund, etc.
In addition, the participation of the private sector is increasing, through GMS Business Council activities, including the initiation of the establishment of the GMS Traffic Transportation Association, the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), the Business Alliance of GSM cross-border E-Commerce Cooperation Platform.
The Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program has gained significant achievements, results over the last 3 years, following the roadmap of the "3C" principals (Connectivity, Competitiveness, and Community) toward a vision of a fair, prosperous and integrated subregion. The Ministers believe that with the practicality and the spirit of "nothing is impossible", the GMS Economic Cooperation Program will continue to succeed in a challenging future./.
Ministry of Planning and Investment