Regional Cooperation and Integration (RCI)
Across Asia and the Pacific, ADB is working to promote cross-border infrastructure, trade integration, financial links, and regional public goods.
Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand are neighbors sharing close historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. With southern Thailand and northern Malaysia sharing a land border, and separated from Sumatra, Indonesia only by the narrow Straits of Malacca, these three Southeast Asian nations also share vibrant and growing economic linkages.
The Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) subregional program aims to stimulate economic development in 32 of these three countries’ less-developed states and provinces, which are home to over 54 million people.
The IMT-GT consists of:
ADB has been involved in the IMT-GT program since its inception, and has been a Regional Development Partner since 2007. IMT-GT distinguishes itself from other regional cooperation initiatives supported by ADB in that:
ADB has been a long-term supporter of the IMT-GT as its Regional Development Partner. Technical support includes: IMT-GT Vision 2036 and Implementation Blueprint 2017-2021. The Leaders have adopted an Implementation Blueprint 2017-2021 (under the IMT-GT Vision 2036) at the 10th IMT-GT Summit on 29 April 2017 in Manila, Philippines. A pipeline of Priority Connectivity Projects estimated at US$47 billion was also endorsed. The IMT-GT’s Vision is to become an integrated, innovative, inclusive and sustainable subregion by 2036. ADB will support implementation of the IMT-GT Vision 2036 in close collaboration with the working groups, national secretariats, the Centre for IMT-GT Subregional Cooperation (CIMT) and other subregional mechanisms.
ADB support for this initiative, which was launched by the Chief Ministers and Governor’s Forum, commenced the preparation of a Green City Action Plan (GCAP) for Melaka adopted by the Melaka State Government. An implementation plan for Melaka was also prepared, with strong support from the Malaysian government. In 2016, ADB’s Office of the Public-Private Partnership signed with Melaka Green Technology Corporation a transaction advisory service agreement for a public-private partnership to install 100,000 smart energy efficient streetlights in Melaka. Green City Action Plans for Songkhla and Hat Yai (Thailand) were completed in 2016, while Green Cities Action Plans for Medan and Batam in Indonesia have both been completed in 2017. ADB also supported the 2nd Asia-Pacific Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation/16th International Convention on Melaka Twin Cities in 2016, which enabled GCAP cities to share learnings and enhance regional integration of GCAPs.
ADB is assisting in preparing the IMT-GT Tourism Sector Strategic Framework (TSSF) that would build on the national tourism strategies of the IMT-GT countries, with an aim of promoting the subregion as a single destination. The TSSF is expected to be endorsed at the 23rd IMT-GT Ministerial Meeting in 2017.
An IMT-GT Database on Trade, Investment, and Tourism was developed to monitor IMT-GT economy. A statistical booklet was also produced. ADB supported the establishment of a database taskforce comprised of representatives from statistical agencies. The databases were handed over to the subregional secretariats for administration and management in 2017.
ADB assisted in the development of a project manual as a guide for project identification and implementation and organized a training workshop on project management in Penang.
ADB also organized several capacity building and training programs for IMT-GT officials in 2016 and early 2017:
ADB and the CIMT signed a Cooperation Agreement in 2014 which identified areas of cooperation and strengthened ADB’s continued support for the subregion. ADB has also provided assistance to the CIMT to prepare its business plan and operations manual.
ADB organized an ASEAN, BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT Land Transport Facilitation Consultation Meeting in Surabaya, Indonesia. Encouraged by the favorable outcome of the first dialogue, ADB plans to organize a roundtable on the ASEAN Vision 2025 and complementarities with the new strategic documents of IMT-GT and other subregions in 2018.
Chief of Regional Cooperation and Integration Thematic Group
Director, Regional Cooperation and Integration Division
ADB serves as secretariat or advisor for the following subregional programs.
The BIMP-EAGA initiative was launched in 1994 as a cooperation initiative to close the development gap across and within the EAGA member countries.
The CAREC Program is a partnership of 11 countries and development partners working together to promote development through cooperation, leading to accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction.
The GMS is a natural economic area bound together by the Mekong River, covering 2.6 million square kilometers and a combined population of around 326 million.
The SASEC Program brings together Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka in a project-based partnership to build a better quality of life for the people of the subregion.