Countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion are working to make the movement of goods and services across borders faster, easier, cheaper, more compliant, and more inclusive.


Over the past decade, the Greater Mekong Subregion’s (GMS) road network has expanded by almost 200,000 kilometers, and overland road freight has almost doubled. Yet despite these advances, remaining barriers to trade and transport continue to inhibit the subregion’s full economic potential and the cost of cross-border land transport remains high.

With much of the hard infrastructure in place, there has been a greater focus in recent years on the rules, regulations, agreements, and other “software” to make the movement of goods and services across borders in the GMS faster, easier, cheaper, more compliant, and more inclusive.

The GMS Transport and Trade Facilitation Action Program is working to overcome existing barriers in order to link the subregion to the ASEAN Economic Community’s single market and production base, as well as other regional cooperation initiatives.

The program is helping to expand transport and traffic rights along the GMS Cross Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA). route network; simplify and modernize customs procedures and border management; and strengthen the capacity of sanitary and phytosanitary agencies in the subregion.

To facilitate progressive implementation of the CBTA, the GMS Transport Ministers as members of the CBTA Joint Committee have agreed to an “Early Harvest” memorandum of understanding to allow the issuance and mutual recognition of GMS Road Transport Permits along the CBTA Protocol 1 route network and the border crossing points along these routes starting August 2018.

Related

‘Early Harvest’ Implementation of the Cross-Border Transport Facilitation Agreement

Statement of the Sixth Meeting of the Joint Committee for the CBTA (15 March 2018)

Statement of the Fifth Meeting of the Joint Committee for the CBTA (16 December 2016)

Statement of the Fourth Meeting of the Joint Committee for the CBTA and 3-Year Blueprint on Transport and Trade Facilitation, 2013-2016 (22 November 2013)

Statement of the Third Meeting of the Joint Committee for the CBTA (17 June 2010)

Statement of the Second Meeting of the Joint Committee for the CBTA (20 March 2007)

First Meeting of the Joint Committee for the CBTA (30 April 2004)

Improving Accessibility of Financial Services in the Border-Gate Areas to Facilitate Cross-Border Trade: The Case of Viet Nam and Implications for Greater Mekong Subregion Cooperation

Using the case study of Viet Nam to draw implications for GMS cooperation, this paper investigates how users and providers of financial services in the border-gate areas see financial services as a factor of cross-border trade facilitation. It also examines how users and providers of financial services perceive the different dimensions of financial service accessibility and how accessibility affects customers' decisions to use financial services in the border-gate areas.


Economics and Trade in Goods: An Introduction: An ADB-ITD Training Module for the Greater Mekong Subregion

This training material aims to strengthen officials' and experts' understanding of the trade barriers that affect trade in goods and the economic determinants of such trade; proposals made in different forums to reform border policies affecting trade in goods and the analysis of those proposals, with a particular focus on the strategic questions raised by regional trade agreements; and particular challenges facing trade policy makers in the Greater Mekong Subregion.


Roads for Asian Integration: Measuring ADB's Contribution to the Asian Highway Network

Against the backdrop of growing momentum for regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in Asia, this paper examines the link between regional roads and Asian Development Bank (ADB) support between 1966 and 2008.

The novel methodology used in this paper includes an Asia-wide definition of regional roads that fall on the Asian Highway (AH) network. The AH network is a system of about 140,000 kilometers (km) of standardized roads crisscrossing many Asian countries and with linkages to Europe.