Officials prepare for Mekong bloc conference

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-9-26 18:47:08

More than 80 representatives, including senior officials from Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam concluded a two-day meeting here on Thursday in preparation for the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Ministerial Conference in December.

The meeting was convened to finalize the regional investment framework (RIF) sector pipeline, which is to be submitted to the 19th GMS Ministerial Conference for approval, according to the press release.

"It is my belief that the challenges of promoting sustainable growth in the region can be matched only by laying the foundations for a robust and inclusive growth strategy over a long-term vision, a strategy that the GMS cooperation has developed and endorsed with its new Strategic Framework for 2012-2022," said GMS National Coordinator for Laos Monemany Nhoybouakong in her opening statement on Wednesday.

With support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other contributors, the GMS program helps to implement high priority projects in transport, energy, telecommunications, environment, human resource development, tourism, trade, private sector investment and agriculture.

The six countries involved entered into a sub-regional economic cooperation program in 1992 with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Since its inception, about 10 billion US dollars' worth of priority infrastructure projects have been launched by the group.

Nhoybouakong said that the member nations acknowledged the crucial role the GMS program played in promoting socio-economic development and enhancing sub-regional connectivity, which had contributed to resilience and growth amid recent global economic difficulties.

It is important that the six countries do not lose sight of the program's rudimental goals, she said.

The 19th GMS Ministerial Conference is scheduled to be held in Vientiane on Dec.10-11.

GMS, which includes Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and China, was established in 1992.

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