Ministers from the Greater Mekong Subregion are reviewing progress on the Regional Investment Framework (RIF) to boost implementation of the GMS Strategic Framework 2012-22, as they meet for the 18th GMS Ministerial Conference in Nanning, China.
The RIF, which was endorsed at the fourth GMS Summit last December, helps formulate a comprehensive pipeline of investment and non-lending projects based on sector assessments and country needs, according to a GMS news release.
In addition to traditional GMS projects, the RIF proposes multi-sectoral second-generation projects. These include urban development along existing transport corridors; better road, rail and sea links; building up national power grids; promotion of regional food-handling guidelines; establishing sustainable tourism projects; boosting environmental planning and management; and shoring up human-resource capacity. These investments are expected to help GMS countries transform transport corridors into economic corridors.
While the RIF will be finalised next year, investment projects worth at least US$9 billion (Bt276 billion) have already been identified. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently approved $37 million in funding for corridor town development in Cambodia, and $41 million for similar projects in Laos.
Meanwhile, headway is being made on institutional issues as well, with progress on the establishment of the Regional Power Coordination Centre and the Greater Mekong Railways Association.