New PRC-Viet Nam Cross-border Rail Freight Service Launched

A new cross-border rail freight service from Suzhou, People’s Republic of China (PRC), to Hanoi, Viet Nam was launched by the East Asia Region section of Nippon Express. Suzhou West Railway Station is located amid industrial clusters of eastern PRC.  

The use of rail transport makes possible reliable lead times of 8-10 days. Ocean freight from PRC to Southeast Asia is usually challenged with constraints in space and reliable transport routes and schedule.  

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Transmission tower in Lao PDR. Photo by IG (CC BY 2.0).

Lao PDR Signs Concession Agreement with Electricity Joint Venture

The Government of Lao PDR and the Electricite du Laos Transmission Company Limited (EDL-T), the joint venture between China Southern Power Grid and Electricite du Laos of the Lao PDR, have signed a Concession Agreement on 11 March. The agreement states that EDL-T will serve as the country's national power grid operator under the supervision of the Government of Lao PDR. It will invest, construct, and operate power grids (230 kilovolts and above), and implement grid interconnection projects between Lao PDR and its neighbors.  

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Cambodia, Lao PDR, Viet Nam Leaders Vow to Boost Cooperation against COVID-19 and Strengthen Trade

Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, Lao PDR Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, and Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc held a virtual discussion on 10 March 2021. They lauded their growing relationship and agreed to further strengthen their cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 and in other sectors, including connectivity, energy, and trade and investment.  

Lao PDR expressed appreciation for Cambodia’s medical supply donation to help them combat COVID-19.  

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National Single Window Simplifies and Streamlines Lao PDR’s Cross-border Trade

The National Single Window in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) aims to simplify and streamline the import, export, and transit of all goods and cargo at all international borders and airports in the Lao PDR. The National Single Window is linked to the ASYCUDA system. It facilitates customs clearance and highlights transparency in trade.  

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Lao PDR, Viet Nam to Open New International Border Crossing

The Governments of Lao PDR and Viet Nam will upgrade the Dakta-ok-Nam Giang border crossing between Sekong (Lao PDR) and Quang Nam (Viet Nam) provinces to international status, with the Sekong province opening its first international border crossing on 24 March. This upgrade will further ease the movement of goods and people between the two countries, and shorten the distance between Thailand and Viet Nam via the southern Lao PDR route by more than 100 kilometres.

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The Greater Mekong Subregion Sustainable Tourism Development Project funded by ADB developed homestay service, catering services and tours in Viet Nam. Photo by ADB.

Experience Mekong Showcases 2021 Opens Voting for Nominated Mekong Businesses

The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) is inviting the public to vote for their favorite Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) small businesses to determine the six final businesses that will be recognized for the 2021 Experience Mekong Showcases. The public gets to learn about and choose from the 72 finalists from the Experience Mekong Showcases voting page.  

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Photo by ADB.

Nominations for 2021 Mekong Hero Open

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Mekong Hero. Launched in 2020 by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) and Destination Mekong, the ‘Mekong Heroes’ program aims to celebrate passionate individuals in Mekong tourism who work tirelessly behind the scenes to inspire and influence, modeling new ways of conceiving and doing tourism better. Nominees could be CEOs or senior government officials, or they might be entrepreneurs or small business owners -- leaders that have made a significant contributio

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Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS) 2021: Innovation through Collaboration: Planning for Inclusive Post-COVID-19 Recovery

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its partners will collectively zero in on strategies and policy responses that countries can adopt to lay the groundwork for post-COVID-19 recovery at the upcoming Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS) Innovation through Collaboration: Planning for Inclusive Post-COVID-19 Recovery

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Thừa Thiên-Huế province, Vietnam. Photo by David McKelvey (CC BY 2.0).

GMS Project Enhances Biodiversity Conservation in Viet Nam

The Greater Mekong Subregion Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Project, an Asian Development Bank supported project that was first approved in 2010 and given additional funding in June 2015, has significantly contributed to forest protection in Viet Nam’s Quang Nam, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien-Hue provinces.

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The community-based tourism area Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province was first supported in 2001 by the GMS Sustainable Tourism Development Project. Photo by ADB.

MIST Program to Highlight Innovations in Sustainable Tourism

The MIST program has been reimagined as “Mekong Innovations in Sustainable Tourism,” and shifts its focus to highlight innovations in sustainable tourism, resilience, and climate change in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) made the announcement and opened the latest round of nominations on 1 February 2021. MIST welcomes nominees from startups, established companies, government organizations, NGOs, academia, media, as well as individuals, students, and partnerships on initiatives that can be

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