|Population||53 million (2017)|
|GDP at PPP (current international dollars)||328 billion (2017)|
|GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars)||6,139 (2017)|
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In the area of agriculture, Myanmar is coordinating with its GMS partners to increase subregional agricultural trade, while joining efforts to improve food security, address rising energy costs, and develop its production of agri-food products.
Myanmar is one of the GMS countries most vulnerable to climate change, and is working with its subregional partners to increase its climate resilience.
Myanmar has substantial energy resources that could support the expansion of commercial energy production. The government seeks to address climate change concerns by promoting the use of alternative fuels in households, promoting wider use of new and renewable energy sources, and promoting energy efficiency and conservation. Cross-border power connections with GMS neighbors are being developed for the export of hydropower.
Nearly half of Myanmar is covered in forests, and the country enjoys large freshwater and marine resources. The country is a biodiversity hotspot with more than 1,000 bird species and 7,000 different types of plants. Myanmar is working to increase forest protection, and coordinate with its GMS partners on subregional initiatives involving the environment.
In the area of human resource development, Myanmar is working to improve access to education in border areas with vocational training schools, including those specifically serving women. The country is also working with its GMS partners on social protection for children, anti-trafficking initiatives, control of malaria and other communicable diseases, and safe labor migration. Increasing the accessibility to both basic and higher education is a national government goal, as is greater information exchange with GMS partner countries.
Myanmar is modernizing and improving its telecommunications and information communications technology systems. This includes programs for improving international exchange links, and developing rural communications systems. The Government is working to reduce the digital divide and to establish connectivity nationwide.
Myanmar is promoting tourism that generates foreign exchange, creates jobs, and contributes to poverty reduction. The country’s attractions include the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda and Bagan, known as the land of a thousand pagodas. Inlay Lake and Mandalay are also important attractions for visitors. Myanmar cooperates in subregional tourism working groups that facilitate the sharing of expertise with GMS neighbors. Myanmar’s private sector is undergoing dramatic changes. Studies are underway to examine how best to support the development of trade and investment in order to spread its benefits to the poor and vulnerable.
Regulatory reforms that promote private sector investment are being undertaken, and investments are being considered in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and other sectors. Myanmar is seeking to expand its trade with GMS partners. Myanmar is an important GMS transport link to South Asia.
The government has recognized the importance of improving its domestic transport network, including roads that connect to the subregional corridors. The country also has an extensive rail network, an important deep water port, and a domestic river transport network.
The Ministers of the six member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) are set to lay the groundwork for the preparation for the 7th GMS Summit of Leaders.
Hosted by the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the 23rd GMS Ministerial Conference (MC-23) will take place in Phnom Penh on 18 November 2019, with the theme "Greater Integration, Inclusivity and Sustainability in the GMS.”
In this issue of the Journal of Greater Mekong Subregion Development Studies, we feature five articles that concern some of the more pressing issues of cooperation in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) - trade facilitation and trade logistics, the trade impact of cross-border transport infrastructure, tourism corridor development, and biofuels and rural renewable energy. The diversity of the topics tackled in this volume reflects the multifaceted challenges of regional cooperation.
This publication outlines the GMS Economic Cooperation Program (GMS Program) which was initiated in 1992 with the support of ADB. It aims to promote economic cooperation among Cambodia, People's Republic of China (PRC), Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
The GMS Program covers nine priority sectors: transportation, telecommunications, energy, environment, human resource development, trade, investment, tourism, and agriculture.
The fledgling Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Journal for Development Studies, published under the auspices of the Phnom Penh Plan (PPP) for Development Management, moves a step ahead with the second issue. In what might be considered as "ascending steps," GMS scholarship is moving forward, slowly but surely. The PPP's commitment is to ensure that we continue to make strides towards our goal of bridging the gap between research and capacity building and to propagate the gospel of balanced socioeconomic development in the GMS.