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Significant progress has been achieved in terms of implementing projects under the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) program since 1992. Priority infrastructure projects worth around $11 billion have either been completed or are being implemented. Among these are the upgrading of the Phnom Penh (Cambodia)-Ho Chi Minh City (Viet Nam) highway and the East-West Economic Corridor that will eventually extend from the Andaman Sea to Da Nang.
By the end of 2013, the GMS program had mobilized $16.6 billion in investment projects and $330.8 million in technical assistance, of which ADB’s support amounted to $6.0 billion for investments and $115.1 million for technical assistance.
The different sectors of the GMS program and the various initiatives being implemented are:
Working Group on Agriculture (WGA) - Established in 2002, the WGA is a mechanism for agricultural cooperation in the GMS, with a mission statement to "help reduce poverty through partnerships with rural communities to promote agriculture trade, food security, and sustainable livelihoods".
GMS Energy Roadmap aims to deliver sustainable, secure, competitive and low carbon energy in the subregion
Core Environment Program - Launched in 2006, the CEP is based on the GMS countries’ commitment to sustainable use of shared natural resources and environment. The CEP will empower GMS countries to effectively manage their environment and economic development—through enhanced connectivity, improved competitiveness, and a better sense of community in the subregion—to achieve an overall and sustainable improvement in people's lives.
HIV Prevention and the Infrastructure Sector in the GMS - The goal of a more integrated , prosperous and equitable GMS can be achieved only if the ongoing spread of HIV and AIDS in the region is comprehensively addressed. ADB has both an obligation to mitigate the HIV risks associated with transport and other large infrastructure projects, and an opportunity to contribute strategically and effectively to the fight against HIV/AIDS and poverty in the region.
Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management (PPP) - Launched in 2002, the PPP is designed to help develop a core group of motivated development leaders and managers who are competent to manage the complex and challenging GMS development agenda. This capacity-building intitiative of the GMS countries is funded by ADB through its Technical Assistance Special Fund.
Working Group on Human Resource Development (WGHRD) - The WGHRD was established in 1995 to promote human resource development cooperation in the GMS. The WGHRD has been addressing subregional issues in education and skills development, labor and migration, health and social development.
As the GMS economies open up to foreign investment as a means to finance development, the need for enhanced cooperation and experience sharing among the investment-related agencies in the subregion has become increasingly important.
The overall vision for this sector in GMS is to establish enhanced telecommunications linkages that facilitate the flow of and access to information.
The GMS Tourism sector strategy is built on the principles of sustainable tourism development that is economically viable, ecologically sound, and has minimal negative social impacts on the local community.
As the economies of the subregion open up to, and become increasingly integrated through, trade and investment, there is a need for enhanced cooperation in improving the ability for the participating economies to exchange products and relevant services effectively.
Cross-Border Transport Agreement (CBTA) - The CBTA is a compact and comprehensive multilateral instrument that covers all the relevant aspects of cross-border transport facilitation in one document. The CBTA applies to selected and mutually agreed upon routes and points of entry and exit in the signatory countries.
Development of Economic Corridors - Adopted by the GMS countries during the 8th GMS Ministerial Meeting in Manila in 1998. The 'economic corridor' approach recognizes that development entails infrastructure integrated with other economic opportunities. These include trade and investment, and efforts to address social and other impacts arising from increased connectivity.