This is the first time the GMS Summit has been held in Vietnam in order to boost discussions between the entrepreneurial community and state management agencies, as well as connect international and regional enterprises.
The summit expects to welcome around 1,000 representatives, including leaders of GMS countries, representatives of international organisations (the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the Secretary-General of the ASEAN, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Japanese International Co-operation Agency), development partners, localities of GMS countries, leaders of large groups, and regional and international corporations.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the prime ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and China also expect to attend the high-level policy dialogue on March 30. The GMS Summit is organised on the occasion of 25 years of co-operation, as well as to find development orientations to develop an integrated, sustainable, and prosperous GMS.
In the framework of the GMS Summit, the tenth CLV Summit on Development Triangle Area will also take place to review the performance of the Masterplan on CLV socioeconomic development in 2010-2020, as well as discuss co-operation orientations in the coming time, particularly the economic connection between the three countries.
The GMS has held 22 ministerial meetings and five summits. Earlier, the fifth GMS Summit was held on December 19-20, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand under the theme “Committed to inclusive and sustainable development in the GMS” and three major sub-topics: strengthening regional connectivity; sustainable and inclusive development of the GMS; and co-operation between the GMS and other sub-regions and attracting resources for GMS projects.
Later, the 21st GMS Ministerial Meeting on November 2016 approved the new Regional Investment Framework Implementation Plan (RIF IP) by 2020, including 107 investment and technical assistance projects worth $32.6 billion.
The 22nd GMS ministerial meeting in September 2017 approved the Regional Investment Framework (RIF 2) by 2022, including 222 investment and technical assistance projects with the total investment capital of nearly $64 billion. The GMS Tourism Development Strategy in 2016-2025 and the Hanoi Action Plan were also approved at this meeting.
The GMS Economic Cooperation was created by six countries sharing the Mekong River, namely Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Yunnan Province of the People’s Republic of China, with the help of the ADB in 1992. The nine priority areas of this cooperation include transport, telecommunications, energy, tourism, human resources development, environment, agriculture, trade, and investment.
In the last 10 years, many projects have been completed or are being implemented, including the development of North-South, East-West, and Southern Economic Corridors which are road networks linking the six GMS members. Additionally, the parties also work on facilitating of electricity trade between the Lao PDR and Thailand, and an agreement to facilitate the cross-border movement of goods and people.