Urban Development

The Greater Mekong Subregion is working to improve the quality of life and economic vibrancy of its cities and towns by using global best practices in urban development.

The Urban Development Working Group oversees urban development and economic zones as new areas of cooperation in the subregion.


By 2050, the Greater Mekong Subregion is expected to be at least 50% urbanized. This will bring vast changes to the economies of the subregion. What was once a primarily agricultural area is transforming into a place where cities and towns are the main drivers of economic growth. Careful planning is needed to balance urban growth with environmental protection and economic equity so that healthy cities can be enjoyed by all residents.

The Greater Mekong Subregion is working to improve the quality of life and economic vibrancy of its cities through the development of national strategies and projects that incorporate global best practices into the subregion’s urban development. This work has included the first and second Corridor Towns Development Project, which is developing competitive and environmentally friendly cities along vital economic arteries in the subregion. Cross-border economic zones are also being developed.

Related

Urban Development in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Greater Mekong Subregion Urban Development Strategic Framework

Second Greater Mekong Subregion Corridor Towns Development Project

Urban Development Working Group

Focal Persons at the Asian Development Bank

  • Alan Baird
    Urban Development and Water Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Andrew McIntyre and Hinako Maruyama
    Public Management, Financial Sector, & Regional Coop Division,
    East Asia Department

Other Concerned Staff & Consultants

  • Antonio Ressano
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Alma Canarejo
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department/GMS Secretariat

Send inquiries to GMS Secretariat.

An aerial rendering of the SDZ. Photo by the Yunnan Provincial Overseas Investment Co. Ltd.

PRC, Lao PDR Jointly Developing a Low-carbon Demonstration Zone

The Vientiane Saysettha Development Zone (SDZ) is being developed into a low-carbon demonstration model by the Lao-China Joint Venture Investment Co., Ltd. (LCJV). Low carbon demonstration zones hope to address climate change and green and low-carbon transition, and boost regional cooperation with the PRC. 

GMS in the News

ADB to Help Improve Water Resources of River Basin in Yunnan, PRC

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $100 million loan to clean up water resources and the environment of the Sayu River Basin in Yunnan Province, the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The Sayu River Basin is an important area for ecological protection in the upper Yangtze River Basin. It is the only centralized drinking water source in Zhaotong City in Yunnan.

GMS in the News

The Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway is an integral section of the eastern link of the GMS Northern Economic Corridor, connecting Kunming in Yunnan province of the PRC with Hanoi, and Hai Phong and Cai Lan ports in Viet Nam. Photo by ADB.

Lao Cai, Viet Nam as an Investment Spotlight 

Viet Nam’s Lao Cai province has become a ‘promising destination for foreign investments,’ according to a feature on the Viet Nam Briefing, with its strategic location on the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Northern Economic Corridor and its connectivity to the southwestern region of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Key sectors of investment in Lao Cai include construction, tourism, and a

GMS in the News

The GMS ministers called for a Transport and Trade Facilitation Action Program to enhance the cross-border flow of goods and people, and for a coordinated approach to developing urban areas throughout the region. A vendor selling different products in a market in Thailand. Photo: ADB.

Ministers Endorse Plans to Develop New Special Economic Zones in Mekong

KUNMING, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (11 June 2015) – Government ministers and senior officials attending the Greater Mekong Subregion Seventh Economic Corridors Forum today agreed on measures to promote the development of economic corridors, facilitate cross-border transport and trade, and enhance cooperation and private sector participation.

News Releases

GMS Economic Corridors Forum Looks to Enhance Cross-Border Trade

KUNMING, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (10 June 2015) – Ministers and senior officials from the six Greater Mekong Subregion countries and the Vice-President of the Asian Development Bank will convene tomorrow at the 7th GMS Economic Corridors Forum to discuss how to further develop economic corridors, facilitate cross-border transport and trade, and enhance cooperation and private sector participation – including the development of Special Economic Zones.

News Releases