The crowds are sparse in the ordinarily busy district of Chinatown in SIngapore. Shop owners estimate that business has dropped by 50% due to the COVID-19 crisis. 2020 Lester Ledesma/ADB.

Southeast Asia Sustainable Tourism Hub Launched at SEADS 2022

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) launched the Southeast Asia Sustainable Tourism Hub on 17 March 2022 at the third Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS).  

Southeast Asia’s tourism industry is still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. To accelerate an inclusive and sustainable recovery, ADB is increasing its support for investments, capacity development, and knowledge.  

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Photo by Jacques Beaulieu/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Urban Management Platform Fosters Discussion on Urban Development in Vientiane

The Urban Management Platform of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to tackle urban development policies and issues in Vientiane, such as land administration, investment in urban development, and revision of the transport master plan. The first meeting reviewed current land management practices. Government officials and JICA specialists attended, reported the Vientiane Times on 18 February 2022. 

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Lao PDR Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith and Cambodia Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn. Photo by Lao PDR Foreign Ministry

Electricity Trade Boosts Cambodia-Lao PDR Bilateral Trade

Electricity trade between Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic raised the annual value of bilateral trade to more than $100 million in 2020 from a previous value of $10 million-$20 million. This was noted by Cambodia Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn and Lao Foreign Affairs Minister Saleumxay Kommasith in their meeting on 16 February. Mr. Kommasith was in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 15-17 February 2022 to attend the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat.  

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 A cruise ship in Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam. Photo by Bryan Lippincott (CC BY-ND 2.0)

ASEAN Tourism Ministers Make Plans to Gradually Reopen ASEAN Tourism    

The 25th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers held on 19 January 2022 in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, exchanged views on the way forward for the recovery of the region’s tourism industry. Bearing the theme “ASEAN – A Community of Peace and Shared Future,” the Meeting discussed the impact of COVID-19 on each ASEAN member state and emphasized the development of the tourism sector amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

 

Decline in Tourist Growth 

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Waterfall in Phnom Kulen, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photo by Kim Seng (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Ecotourism to be Developed in Cambodia's Siem Reap, Kampong Speu, and Koh Kong Provinces

The Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment plans to develop and establish ecotourism in protected areas of Siem Reap, Kampong Speu, and Koh Kong provinces under the “Cambodia Sustainable Landscape and Ecotourism Project.” 

Areas that will potentially be developed include the Preah Jayavarman-Norodom National Park “Phnom Kulen”; the Oral Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and the Central Cardamom Mountain National Park; and the Tatai and Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuaries. 

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ADB Approves Additional $2 Million Funding to Support Green and Resilient Post-COVID-19 Recovery in the GMS

An additional $2 million grant funding from the Climate Investment Fund–Technical Assistance Facility (CIF–TAF) was approved on 17 October 2021 by ADB. This grant will support green and resilient COVID-19 recovery in the GMS, covering Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam, through the CCESP TA. With this funding, the Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Program (CCESP) will provide policy support, build institutional and technical capacities, and demonstrate innovative options to build back cleaner, greener, and more climate-resilient economies.

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ADB Support for Subregional Programs Emphasized at ASEAN High-level Forum on Subregional Cooperation

The ASEAN High-level Forum on Subregional Cooperation for Sustainable Development and Inclusive Growth initiated by the Government of Viet Nam on 30 November 2021 provided a platform for ASEAN Member States, subregional frameworks, external partners, international organizations, and the private sector to discuss opportunities and challenges in subregions in the ASEAN. The Forum held the following sessions:  

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Viet Nam Industry 4.0 Summit 2021 Promotes Industrialization and Modernization in the Digital Age

The Viet Nam Industry 4.0 Summit 2021 highlighted the creation of a sustainable socioeconomic recovery and growth in Viet Nam in the post-COVID-19 era, and promoted industrialization and modernization in the digital age.  

Mr. Andrew Jeffries, Country Director for ADB Viet Nam Resident Mission, joined the plenary discussion on post-pandemic economic recovery and digital transformation as a new vehicle for green recovery on 5 December 2021.  

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ADB-UNIDO Workshop Emphasizes Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in Cambodia

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation and the Ministry of Economic and Finance of the Government of Cambodia, held a virtual discussion on the status of Cambodia’s fourth industrial revolution (4IR) and pathways for the country’s transformation to this new industrial model by 2030 on 7-8 December 2021.  

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