Trade in the Greater Mekong Subregion

As the economies of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) 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.

The GMS envisions high levels of trade and enhanced overall competitiveness, achieved through the removal or reduction of nonphysical barriers; smooth and efficient flow of people, goods, services and capital across borders; and the development of an efficient and adequate logistics system.

Part of the strategic objectives of this sector involve removing hindrances to trade in the form of nonphysical and nontariff barriers, such as cumbersome customs and inspection procedures, lack of harmonization of trade documentation, discriminatory national laws and regulations, and inefficient transport operations across borders.

The Subregional Trade Facilitation Working Group (TFWG) was established in 1994 under the GMS Economic Cooperation Program to serve as an advisory body on issues in facilitating trade in the subregion.

The principal focus of the TFWG is on facilitating trade-related transactions through the improvement and coordination of trade-related procedures, processes and information, to contribute to the growth of its member countries through increasing trade-related integration with each other, and with the broader regional/global economy.

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