The 17th Ministerial Conference of six Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries began yesterday in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The conference aimed to finalise the new GMS Strategic Framework for 2012-22, before submitting it for their leaders endorsement at the fourth GMS summit in Myanmar this December.
In its third decade of implementation, the GMS strategic framework would continue its focus on physical infrastructure investments and expand economic development activities. Organisers plan to solicit the participation of the private sector to address the issues of the GMS programme, Cambodian Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh said at the opening session of the conference.
"We have achieved great success in the last two decades of co-operation, but much work remains to ensure that we are advancing the GMS economic co-operation program towards its full potential," he said.
The GMS programme was established in 1992 with the support of the Asian Development Bank. It has nine priority sectors of co-operation: agriculture, energy, environment, human resource development, investment, telecommunications, tourism, transport infrastructure, and transport and trade facilitation.
Over the last two phases, the GMS programme has contributed to eradicating hunger and poverty, in addition to boosting socio-economic development in the region.
The GMS group includes China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam. — vns