About the Greater Mekong Subregion

The Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program supports the implementation of high-priority projects in the six nations that share the Mekong River.

  • Population: 339 million (2015)
  • GDP at PPP (current international dollars): 2.9 trillion (2015)
  • Intra-GMS Trade: $444 billion (2015)
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The Greater Mekong Subregion is comprised of Cambodia, the People's Republic of China (specifically Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), Lao People's Democratic Republic , Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. In 1992, with assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), these six countries entered into a program of subregional economic cooperation, designed to enhance economic relations. With support from ADB and other donors, the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program supports the implementation of high-priority subregional projects in 10 program sectors: agriculture, energy, environment, human resource development, information and communication technology, tourism, transport, transport and trade facilitation, urban development, and other multisector and border economic zones. More.

10 Things to Know about the Greater Mekong Subregion

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The Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework 2012-2022 was adopted at the 4th GMS Summit of Leaders in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar in December 2011. It is anchored on the development of economic corridors, which provides the spatial and thematic focus to the program. The strategic framework for 2012-2022 expands the GMS Program from conventional infrastructure to multi-sector investments designed to foster economic corridor development, involving stronger cross-sectoral linkages, better consideration of regional economic development’s spatial aspects, more local stakeholder involvement, and more effective monitoring and evaluation.

The Regional Investment Framework Pipeline of Potential Projects, 2013–2022 was endorsed at the 19th GMS Ministerial Conference in Vientiane, Lao PDR in December 2013. It translates the strategic framework into pipelines of investment and technical assistance projects for the third decade of the GMS program. In December 2016, GMS Ministers endorsed a pipeline of 107 projects under the revised Regional Investment Framework Implementation Plan 2020 valued at $32.7 billion. It encompasses the projects of the original Regional Investment Framework Implementation Plan 2014-2018 as well as an expanded project pipeline to the year 2020.

Greater Mekong Subregion Mid-Term Review and Revised Regional Investment Framework Implementation Plan 2020

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The GMS Program is managed by an institutional mechanism, involving both the political and operational levels of the six GMS member countries. The program is based on continuing consultation and dialogue among GMS member countries. The institutional arrangements for the GMS Program are pragmatic and flexible, and guided only by a general set of principles. The GMS institutional structure has three levels:

A unit at ADB headquarters provides overall secretariat support to the GMS Program in coordination with national secretariats in the GMS countries.