In immediate response to global efforts to combat the pandemic, the Health Sector Group of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Sustainable Development and Climate Change (SDCC) Department mobilized funding for Technical Assistance (TA) on Regional Support to Address the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the amount of $48.3 million in early 2020.
The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) impact investment platform, ADB Ventures, has teamed with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to support technology startup TakeMeTour to develop the LocalFarm online platform and help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on Thailand’s tourism sector.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved on 8 July 2020 a $250 million loan to help the Government of Cambodia respond to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic by strengthening the country’s health care system, increasing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable, and providing economic stimulus to businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises.
As countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion slowly move toward the ‘new normal,’ they are also enacting phased approaches to implement tourism recovery. The challenge for the subregion’s travel and tourism sector is to manage and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and build back a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient tourism sector.
The Mekong River Commission (MRC) Joint Committee endorsed ad-referendum the 10-year Basin Development Strategy. The Strategy aims to guide Mekong River Basin stakeholders in addressing environmental, social, and economic issues arising from climate change, water resource development projects, and population increase. Its endorsement paves the way for a final consideration and approval by the MRC’s council of ministers.
Cambodia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) signed the Protocol of Phytosanitary Requirements for Fresh Mango Export on 9 June 2020. This will allow Cambodia and the PRC to work together on the phytosanitary practices of Cambodia’s mango farms to increase Cambodia’s mango export to the PRC. Cambodia can export up to 500,000 tons of high quality mangoes to the PRC per year, according to the Embassy of the PRC.
The Government of Myanmar released a Strategic Roadmap for Tourism Recovery that aims to establish ‘new normal’ conditions to help tourism make a comeback.
Mr. Ohn Maung, Union Minister of Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, provided guidelines for implementation of the plan. It includes three phases:
‘Travel bubbles’ are being considered by Southeast Asian countries, including Myanmar and Thailand, as a means to safely resume travel activities. Members of the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group recommended creating travel bubbles to kickstart regional tourism in the absence of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in their meeting in May.
Trade promotion authorities from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Viet Nam organized a virtual conference for agro-food exporters from Viet Nam and enterprises from Yunnan, PRC, in a bid to boost Viet Nam’s agricultural and food exports. Around 23 Vietnamese agriculture, food, and beverage enterprises participated in the event to promote products suitable to the market in Yunnan province and the broader PRC.
The conference also provided an opportunity to discuss measures to boost Viet Nam’s agricultural and food exports, and maintain trade linkages.
Viet Nam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc delivered a report on how the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was contained and managed in the country, and solutions to restart the economy, at the opening ceremony of the country’s 14th National Assembly’s 9th working session on 20 May 2020.