Multi-Billion Dollar Mekong Region Investments Discussed

Development projects to be considered under the GMS Regional Investment Framework may involve energy and power market integration; environment and biodiversity; agriculture; human resource development; tourism; transport; urban development; and trade facilitation. Photo: R. Ishenaliev/ADB

BANGKOK, THAILAND—Ministers and senior government officials from the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries met today to discuss multi-billion dollar projects and activities that will be pursued under the Regional Investment Framework (RIF) as the means of widening and deepening economic corridors.

"The RIF aims to accelerate the transformation of traditional infrastructure corridors to economic corridors using a multi-sector approach. It places a greater emphasis on strengthening rural-urban and cross-border linkages to bring the benefits of cooperation to a wider reach of people," said Stephen Groff, Vice President at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which acts as the GMS Secretariat.

Projects to be considered may involve energy and power market integration; environment and biodiversity; agriculture; human resource development; tourism; transport; urban development; and trade facilitation.

The RIF looks to ensure investments for corridor development are demand driven; balance external and domestic connectivity and trade; carefully assess regional dimensions of national projects; and prioritize urban development projects such as special economic zones, logistics, and investments linking remote areas with trade gateways.

Some of the RIF's proposed projects for the next five to 10 years were presented at today's Economic Corridors Forum to gather strategic and policy views on projects that will support a more integrated, prosperous, and equitable Mekong subregion. The final RIF pipeline is expected to be officially endorsed at the 19th GMS Ministerial Conference in Vientiane, Lao People Democratic Republic in December 2013.

A Business Opportunity Forum to be held on 8 August in Bangkok will showcase to development partners and private sector representatives selected projects under consideration for funding through the RIF.