The Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) is set to ensure that economic corridors yield benefits in terms of trade, investment and jobs, said a press release from the sixth GMS Economic Corridors Forum (ECF) which concluded here Friday.
Ministers, deputy ministers, senior officials, development partners, and representatives of the private sector from the six GMS countries, namely China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, joined the two-day forum to review its achievements over the last six years and take stock of cross-border transport and trade initiatives in the region.
"Most of the infrastructure required for enhanced connectivity has been put in place, particularly the transport links that form the base of the envisioned economic corridors," Bindu Lohani, vice president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), told forum participants.
The ECF needs to go back to its original focus of finding ways to boost trade and investment, and hasten the development of industries along the economic corridors, said the press release posted on ADB's website on Friday.
Among the key ways to achieve this are through transport and trade facilitation, and the development of special economic zones such as cross border economic zones, export processing zones, and industrial parks.
The forum also discussed ways to improve coordination and integration in carrying out the proposed measures by sharing experience within and outside the region and promoting involvement of the private sector, among others.
The GMS countries formed the ECF in 2008 to bolster efforts in transforming GMS transport corridors into economic corridors connecting dynamic hubs of economic activity.
ADB has supported the establishment of the East-West, North- South, and Southern GMS Economic Corridors since 1998 to promote economic growth and integration in the sub-region.