GMS Member Countries Look Forward to Setting the ‘Early Harvest’ Implementation of the CBTA Back on Track

Bavet Checkpoint: Moc Bai, Vietnam / Bavet, Cambodia on Route 1 to Phnom Penh. 2011 Gerhard Jörén/ADB.

GMS member countries are looking forward to setting the ‘Early Harvest’ Implementation of the Cross-Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA) back on track. This was emphasized by the GMS countries at the Subregional Transport Forum (STF-25) of the GMS Program held on 14 June 2022. 

The ‘Early Harvest’ Implementation of the Cross-Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA) in the GMS has gained substantial progress prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Nazrul Islam, Transport Specialist of ADB Southeast Asia Transport and Communications Division, remarked that achievements of the CBTA include issuance of 739 early harvest permits and transport admission documents (TAD), which is 30% of total permits (2,500) allowed. This number comprises 654 permits for goods vehicles and 84 permits for passenger vehicles; cross border movements have begun between Thailand and Lao PDR and between Thailand and Cambodia.; and overall rapid increase in traffic and trade from 2014 to 2018, including between Cambodia and Viet Nam, and Cambodia, and Thailand.

The pandemic has impacted CBTA implementation in a number of ways, such as limiting and cancellation of planned meetings​; expiration of early harvest MOUs, permits, and TADs; delay on the signing of the Protocol 1 extension of the MOU between PRC and Lao PDR; and discontinued trade data submissions. 

With the re-opening of the subregion, GMS countries look forward to resuming the dialogue and initiatives under the GMS CBTA. 

The STF reviews, coordinates, and monitors regional transport plans and projects of GMS member countries. This year’s STF-25 was held on 14 June 2022 in hybrid format, in-person in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and virtually. Objectives of the meeting were to (i) report and exchange ideas on how the Working Group can contribute to implementing the priorities and initiatives under the GMS-2030 and COVID-19 Plan; and (ii) provide updates and/or agree on steps on ​road safety in GMS; Greater Mekong Railway Association (GMRA) and GMS Railway Development; GMS Freight Transport Association (FRETA) and improvements in logistics in GMS; and Early Harvest GMS CBTA. Read the Summary of Proceedings

Last Updated: 23 August 2022