A MAJOR expansion of economic-corridor networks and new areas for economic investment valued at US$32.6 billion (Bt1.2 trillion) will strengthen links between the capital cities of Mekong countries, according to the agreement revealed at the 21st Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Ministerial Conference in Chiang Rai province Thursday.
This will provide unprecedented opportunities for cross-border trade and investment, officials said.
In a statement issued at the conference, the ministers noted the importance of economic corridors in the subregion’s development, and emphasised “the need to transform the GMS economic corridors into logistics hubs to support cross-border trade, investment, tourism, and stronger cooperation”.
The ministers endorsed 107 projects under a new regional investment framework implementation plan valued at $32.6 billion. They examined ways to enhance competitiveness and accelerate inclusive development in the GMS, and reviewed the long-term strategic framework for the subregion’s economic and social development.
The ministers also highlighted new trade and transport measures that will take effect in 2017. These include implementation of the GMS Cross-Border Transport Agreement, the expansion of single-stop customs inspections at key border crossing points to reduce processing time, and the introduction of a GMS road transport permit that would further facilitate the cross-border movement of vehicles, people, and goods.