Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT)

The Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) is a growth region drawing upon strong economic complementarities, geographical proximity, and close historical, cultural and linguistic ties.

Subregional cooperation under IMT-GT is an initiative by the governments of the IMT countries to accelerate economic development in less developed provinces. It began in 1993, and has since grown to include 32 provinces and states, with population exceeding 70 million.

ADB is a development partner of IMT-GT since 2007. IMT-GT is distinct from the other regional cooperation initiatives supported by ADB in important ways: (i) it is a grouping of sub-national entities; (ii) the cooperation is private-sector led; and, (iii) only 1 of the 3 national borders is land-based, the others are nautical boundaries.

The IMT-GT consists of:

  • 14 provinces in southern Thailand: Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Phattalung, Satun, Songkhla, Trang, Yala, Chumphon, Ranong, Surat Thani, Phang Nga, Phuket;
  • 8 northern states of Peninsular Malaysia: Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Perak, Perlis and Selangor;
  • 10 provinces of Sumatra, Indonesia: Aceh, Bangka-Belitung, Bengkulu, Jambi, Lampung, North Sumatra, Riau, Riau Islands, South Sumatra, and West Sumatra.

Southern Thailand and Northern Malaysia share a land border, which are separated from Sumatra only by the narrow Straits of Malacca.

Updates on ADB support for IMT-GT

The IMT-GT member countries have agreed to prepare an Implementation Blueprint (IB) for 2012-2016 with the expiration of the IMT-GT Roadmap for Development at end-2011. The sector strategies in the Roadmap remain relevant, and the IB will focus on project development and improved implementation. At the request of the countries, ADB assisted in preparing the IB in close collaboration with the National Secretariats and the Centre for IMT-GT Subregional Cooperation (CIMT). The IB has been formally adopted by the Leaders at the 6th IMT-GT Summit on 4 April 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

ADB is currently providing assistance in providing capacity building on project development and management to IMT officials and private sector, as well as development of the Results Monitoring Framework.

Two regional technical assistance (RETA) projects have been approved by ADB. One will strengthen regional cooperation and promote links between the GMS, BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT subregions and the ASEAN to help implement the recently endorsed Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and realize the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. The other RETA approved in October 2010 will help countries prepare projects with the potential to be funded through public-private partnership modalities and help establish a permanent subregional project development facility.