GMS Development Partners Support New Strategic Framework
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA (4 August 2011) – Key development partners of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation Program met senior officials of the GMS countries to discuss support for the new Strategic Framework 2012-22 that will guide the program over the next decade. The meeting was part of the 17th GMS Ministerial Conference held on 2-4 August in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The meeting provided an opportunity for the partners to discuss the new Strategic Framework (SF) and to explore ways to support its effective implementation.
“While ADB remains committed to developing regional solutions for GMS countries, this meeting promotes broadening the development partners’ collective engagement across the strategic focus of the new GMS SF, and in emphasizing the importance of the GMS Program,” said Kunio Senga, Director General, Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank.
The next phase of the GMS program focuses on development of GMS corridors through multisector investments in urban development, rural and feeder roads, area development, logistics, and power. The Program will also deal increasingly with software issues such as transport and trade facilitation, development of regional power market, multimodal transport including railways, logistics development, and interlink between food security, energy sufficiency and climate change. These will require complex analytical work and knowledge management, and increased capacity of the GMS countries.
To cope with these challenges, the meeting explored several modalities to help enhance knowledge management and build the capacity of the GMS countries. These include the development of a GMS knowledge platform to support the analytic work requirements for the GMS Program, and for establishing and strengthening knowledge partnerships with development partners.
The meeting also explored resource mobilization to fund GMS knowledge work and institutional mechanisms for managing the knowledge platform. The meeting also assessed support for capacity building initiatives such as the Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management.
Bilateral donors and aid agencies from Australia, EU, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and U.S.A attended. Multilateral aid agencies and intergovernmental and regional institutions such as the IOM, UNDP, UNESCAP, WHO, WB, AMEICC, Mekong Institute, Mekong River Commission, and GMS Business Forum were also represented. As of June 2011, development partners have financed GMS investment projects amounting to $4.6 billion and technical assistance projects amounting to $118.2 million.