Cambodia hosted the 25th meeting of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) Sub-Regional Transport Forum (STF) with discussions focusing on cross-border trade, transport and improving logistics.
Tuesday’s one-day forum was co-hosted by the Ministry of Works and Transport and the Asian Development Bank (AfDB) in Siem Reap.
The forum was co-chaired by Trac Thai Sieng, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and Hiroaki Yamaguchi, Director of the Transport and Communications Division of the AfDB’s Southeast Asia Department.
Representatives from the Mekong sub-region – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and China’s Yunnan Province discussed cross-border trade, railway development and logistical improvements.
The GMS was created to develop priority areas such as agriculture, energy, environment, health, human resource development, information technology and telecommunications, tourism, transport, trade, urban development and border special economic zones.
Transportation remains the largest sector, accounting for 85% of the GMS investment framework by 2022. It includes 78 projects with a total investment of $65.8 billion.
This year’s STF-25 meeting, held in person and virtually, was held to report and exchange ideas on how the STF can contribute to the implementation of priorities and initiatives under strategy of the GMS 2030 Economic Cooperation Program (GMS-2030) and GMS Covid-19 Response and Recovery Plan.
It was also to update and agree on the next steps for road safety in the GMS; Greater Mekong Railway Association and GMS Railway Development; GMS Freight Transport Association and improvement of logistics in GMS; and Early Harvest GMS CBTA.
The STF was one of the first industry forums under the Greater Mekong Sub-Region Economic Cooperation Program. Its establishment was recommended by the in-depth study of the transport sector prepared in 1993 and endorsed by the 4th GMS Ministerial Conference in 1994.
In general, the STF serves as the key body for the review, coordination and monitoring of regional transport plans and projects of GMS member countries.