Promoting infrastructure connectivity among Greater Mekong Sub-region states is key to the region’s economic growth, experts said at a recent conference in Bangkok.

At the 2013 Administration Summit jointly organised by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce, Prof. Hidetoshi, ERIA Secretary-General, held that strengthening strategic connectivity and prioritising hard and soft infrastructure systems will support the economic restructuring process in the region and narrow the development gap in ASEAN.

Meanwhile, chief trade representative of Thailand Olarn Chaipravat reaffirmed that an infrastructure project valued at 700 million USD that the country launched recently is aimed at enhancing ASE AN intra-bloc linkage.

He underscored that Thailand will focus the country’s future connectivity programmes on the promotion of links between Yunnan ( China ) with Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Established in 2007 in Indonesia, ERIA works closely with both the ASEAN Secretariat and 16 regional research institutes to undertake and disseminate policy research and provide analytical policy recommendations to leaders and ministers at their regional meetings.-VNA