New agreement to spur economic development along Mekong River

By Richard High24 September 2009

Ministers from the six nations sharing the Mekong River have agreed to accelerate development of three priority economic corridors in the region: the East-West, North-South and Southern economic corridors.

Meeting at the 2nd Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Corridors Forum in Phnom Penh last week (16 to 17 September), ministers from Cambodia, the People's Republic of China, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam said the corridors are poised to help propel the economic development of the entire sub-region.

Commenting on the joint communiqué, ADB vice-president Lawrence Greenwood, said, "With good roads and other physical infrastructure largely in place, today's commitment bodes well for the region's continued economic development.

"Now Mekong nations need to double their efforts to streamline cross-border transactions and transportation costs, to ensure trade between Mekong nations can flourish."

Mr. Greenwood also said the initiatives will help improve the business environment in the region, boosting investments in the process.

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