Regional: Support for Regional Multisector Investment Framework for Greater Mekong Subregion Development (Phase 1)

Sovereign Project | 45326-001 Status:

Summary

The GMS countries straddle a dynamic region between large and fast growing economies in East Asia and South Asia, and it is easy to project economic activity of several trillions of dollars in the expanded region within the next decade, as indicated by the Asia 2050 study. Growth nodes of today may be surpassed by new centers catering to the increasing trade flows accompanying the high levels of economic activity. Both conceptually and operationally, now is a good time to do a regional investment framework and plan for the GMS building on existing knowledge and based on current trends and medium-term forecasts in regional economic activity, including trade and urban development. The regional investment framework can ensure that increased channeling of resources in corridor development through widening and deepening is based on comprehensive economic and technical analysis from the start, including good cost-benefit assessment.

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Project Name Support for Regional Multisector Investment Framework for Greater Mekong Subregion Development (Phase 1)
Project Number 45326-001
Country Regional
Project Status
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8042-REG: Support for Regional Multisectoral Investment Framework for Greater Mekong Subregion Development (Phase 1)
Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund US$ 500,000.00
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 1.00 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Partnerships
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development - Agricultural policy, institutional and capacity development

Industry and trade - Industry and trade sector development - Small and medium enterprise development

Transport - Transport policies and institutional development

Water and other urban infrastructure and services - Urban policy, institutional and capacity development

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Description The GMS countries straddle a dynamic region between large and fast growing economies in East Asia and South Asia, and it is easy to project economic activity of several trillions of dollars in the expanded region within the next decade, as indicated by the Asia 2050 study. Growth nodes of today may be surpassed by new centers catering to the increasing trade flows accompanying the high levels of economic activity. Both conceptually and operationally, now is a good time to do a regional investment framework and plan for the GMS building on existing knowledge and based on current trends and medium-term forecasts in regional economic activity, including trade and urban development. The regional investment framework can ensure that increased channeling of resources in corridor development through widening and deepening is based on comprehensive economic and technical analysis from the start, including good cost-benefit assessment. Given the scale and scope of investments necessary, it is also important to suitably incorporate environmental dimensions of the investments early on using a regional framework. This is consistent with the increasing and repeated emphasis of member countries on the need to address environment and climate change as part of the new GMS SF, and to emphasize green development approaches. The regional investment framework can also serve as the launch pad for discussing higher-level cooperation in the GMS program in its third decade, including increased regional cross-border investments. A comprehensive regional planning approach would be a substantial exercise comprising seven steps, namely: (i) diagnosis, (ii) macro-framework building, (iii) sectoral planning, (iv) intersectoral coordination, (v) plan finalization, (vi) action program formulation and (vii) planning for implementation. To enhance its manageability while also promoting flexibility, it is proposed to undertake this task in two phases, with the first phase focusing on thorough diagnostics, analytical studies, and formulation of a macro framework along with initial elements of sectoral planning, including needed institutional elements.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy With the assistance of the ADB under the GMS Program, the GMS countries have finalized and will soon adopt a new Strategic Framework (SF) 2012-2022, pending the expected endorsement of their Leaders during their next summit in December 2011. Corridor development remains the anchor of the new SF and of the GMS Program, which is to be operationalized through a regional investment framework and plan. A new Regional Cooperation Strategy is being formulated for approval in 2012 that will be informed by the TA outputs. The proposed TA is consistent with the CPS under preparation in member countries - Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam - as well as with existing GMS sector strategies under implementation.
Impact Development of GMS corridors enhanced

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome Strengthened GMS regional cooperation program encompassing multisector investment approaches and coordination
Progress Toward Outcome GMS regional cooperation was strengthened through the TA support for the formulation of the GMS Regional Investment Framework (RIF) (2013-2022). The RIF translates the GMS Strategic Framework's (2012-2022) emphasis on multisector investment approaches into a pipeline of investment and technical assistance projects for the third decade of the GMS Program.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Series of analytical reports on subregional economic, social and environment profiles and trends approved

2. First phase of regional investment framework adopted

3. Comprehensive sector and program-level results framework for improved monitoring and evaluation agreed

4. GMS Knowledge Platform piloted

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Since its approval in end-2011, significant progress has been made in implementing the activities envisaged under the RETA. Focal points have been identified in both sector division and resident missions while a Steering Committee, comprising the GMS national coordinators among others, has been set up to oversee the overall implementation and monitoring of the TA outputs. The RIF Implementation Plan (RIF IP) was completed in 2014 and presented to the Leaders at the 5th GMS Summit Meeting on 20 December 2014.

Key sector- and national-level assessments were undertaken in 2012 towards the formulation of the regional investment framework. Sector-specific assessments in the transport, urban development, energy and human resource development were done to provide a baseline to develop a meaningful results framework and to identify potential areas for more detailed analysis of regional investment projects. The sector-specific assessments will subsequently be integrated into a multisector investment approach emphasized by the new GMS Strategic Framework.

National economic planning experts/consultants in Cambodia, PRC, Thailand and Viet Nam were also engaged to undertake detailed review of national, subnational and sector plans. The consultants helped identify priorities and initiatives over the medium and longer term, as well as complementarities that may be strengthened through the GMS regional cooperation. The objective of the assignment was to identify national priorities that can benefit from, or contribute to GMS regional cooperation to ensure that the GMS regional planning is consistent with and aligned to national development priorities, while at the same time promoting synergy of individual national efforts.

The RIF Steering Committee met thrice in 2012 to review and guide the TA outputs that were collectively presented to the 18th GMS Ministerial Conference in Nanning, PRC, in December 2012. The GMS countries appreciated the TA outputs and asked ADB to deepen analysis in emerging areas of investment priority in the GMS, specifically multi-sector investments in urban and area development along GMS corridors, special economic zones and industrial parks, and related institutional analysis and capacity building. The Ministerial Conference also endorsed the establishment of a new GMS Task Force on Urban Development, consistent with the new thrust of the GMS program.

The TAs original completion date was 31 March 2013 but was extended to 31 March 2014 to conduct additional studies and to finalize the GMS RIF project pipeline. The specific activities undertaken in 2013 included: (i) support for organizing the GMS Economic Corridor Forum and the RIF Steering Committee Meetings; (ii) preparation of the GMS RIF; and (iii) formation of the GMS Urban Development Task Force. The RIF Steering Committee also met throughout 2013 to finalize the RIF pipeline for 10 sectors.

At the 19th GMS Ministerial Conference held in Vientiane, Lao PDR in December 2013, the GMS Ministers endorsed the GMS RIF Pipeline of Potential Projects for 2013-2022. Concomitant with their endorsement of the RIF, the GMS Ministers at the 19th MC directed GMS officials to: (i) prepare a 5-year RIF Implementation Plan; (ii) complement the Implementation Plan with a monitoring and evaluation system; (iii) formulate and execute a broad-based resource mobilization campaign; and (iv) ensure that the GMS Program and the RIF support economic corridors, sustainable and balanced development, and regional integration.

In April 2014, the TA was extended until 30 September 2015 to (i) prepare of the RIF Implementation Plan and the M&E system, (ii) prepare a GMS Project Database and website, (iii) prepare a GMS Urban Development Strategy, (iv) conduct an initial review of the GMS Transport Sector Strategy (2006-2015), (v) prepare Pre-Feasibility Studies for RIF Projects, and (vi) support key GMS Meetings in 2014-2015.

Throughout 2014, GMS sector working groups, task forces and forums prioritized the project pipeline and in December 2014, a 5-year Regional Investment Program Implementation Plan (RIF IP) for 2014-2018 was endorsed by the GMS Leaders at the 5th GMS Summit. The Review of the Transport Sector Strategy was also completed in 2014. It was presented at the GMS Subregional Transport Forum on 23-24 July 2014 and was one of the core deliverables for the 5th GMS Summit. In 2015, a system for monitoring the implementation of projects in the RIF IP was developed and reported on by GMS sector working groups, task forces and forums. The first RIF IP progress report was presented at the 20th GMS Ministerial Meeting.

In 2015, multisector investment approaches was also strengthened through the endorsement and publication of a GMS Urban Development Strategic Framework. A GMS Knowledge Platform (Output 4) was also launched at the 20th GMS Ministerial Conference in the form of the online GMS Projects Database. The TA also supported the preparation of a Booklet of GMS Statisics on Growth, Connectivity and Sustainable Development.

The RETA supported the 7th Economic Corridors Forum,which was held in Kunming, PRC in June 2015, and focused on several aspects of multisector economic corridor development including: strategies and action plans for economic corridor development; focus on section-specific corridor concept plans; a transport and trade facilitation action program; and the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the GMS.

Three pre-feasibility experts for the energy, urban development and transport sectors were also engaged to accelerate the formulation of GMS RIF projects.

Geographical Location

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation Senior Officials of the GMS countries have continuously been consulted and engaged in the planning/preparation of the TA outputs, e.g. the Economic Corridor Forums; the review of national, subnational and sector plans; and the preparation of the RIF and RIF Implementation Plan. Development partners and other stakeholders, including the private sector, have been consulted on a regular basis.

Business Opportunities

Consulting Services

The original TA required a multidisciplinary pool of specialists and experts: 28 person-months of international consulting services and 54 person-months of national consulting services. The general requirements for these consultants would be: (i) relevant technical expertise based on academic and professional experience; (ii) familiarity with regional cooperation concepts and initiatives; (iii) excellent communication skills, both oral and written; and (iv) skills on human relations and ability to work with a multicultural and multidisciplinary team.

As of Sep 2015, after several minor changes in scope were approved from May 2012 to March 2015, 36.3 PMs of international consultancy inputs and 30 PMs of national consultancy inputs were contracted.

Responsible Staff

Responsible ADB Officer Cuong Nguyen
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Div, SERD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
6 ADB Avenue,
Mandaluyong City 1550, Philippines

Timetable

Concept Clearance 20 Sep 2011
Fact Finding 10 Oct 2011 to 20 Oct 2011
MRM -
Approval -
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 25 Sep 2015

TA 8042-REG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
15 Dec 2011 - 15 Dec 2011 31 Mar 2013 30 Sep 2015 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
1,500,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,500,000.00 15 Dec 2011 1,305,789.56

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