July 30, 2011

Cambodia to host GMS economic ministers' meeting next week


PHNOM PENH, July 29 -- The six participating countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation Program will gather here on August 2-4 in the 17th GMS Ministerial Conference to review and agree on the new GMS Strategic Framework for 2012-2022, said a press release from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday.

The new Strategic Framework is a road map for moving the GMS Program forward in the light of changing global and regional context, as well as emerging issues such as climate change, changing social and demographic trends, and changing balance of economic activity in Asia, said the statement.

The framework will help the subregion through "second generation" cooperation, including infrastructure investment establishing the GMS economic corridors.

"This Ministerial Conference is particularly significant since the new Strategic Framework marks a generational gear shift for the GMS Program and will imply significant changes to the type of projects and initiatives pursued in the next phase," said Kunio Senga, Director General of ADB's Southeast Asia Department.

"These changes have important implications for not just the GMS Program but all its stakeholders, including development partners and GMS countries," he added.

Since its establishment in 1992, the highly successful GMS Program has been contributing to economic growth in the subregion, averaging more than 6 percent in the last 15 years.

By the end of June 2011, the ADB had extended loans and grants totaling almost 5 billion U.S. dollars for 55 projects in the subregion, mainly infrastructure.

The GMS countries consist of China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

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