Member countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) have agreed to draw up a new 50 billion USD pipeline of potential projects under a new Regional Investment Framework (RIF) agreement over the next decade, according to the Asian Development Bank (ABD).

The Manila-based financial institution said in a news release dated December 12 that the RIF projects include investments in non-traditional areas like railways and multi-sector projects to be made until 2022. To meet the sizeable financing requirements, member countries and their development partners will look to mobilize funds from the private sector.

“The next generation projects can help boost cross border trade and investments, and stimulate jobs and growth,” said Stephen Groff, Vice President at the ADB, which acts as Secretariat for the GMS.

The ADB Vice President added that completing missing transport links remains at the core of the GMS programme, but strengthening knowledge and soft infrastructure such as skills development, trade facilitation, and collectively managing regional public goods is also as a priority.

The RIF was endorsed at the conclusion of the 19th Ministerial Conference of the GMS Economic Cooperation Programme held in the Lao capital of Vientiane. This framework encompasses sub-regional investments and technical assistance projects prepared by all GMS countries, according to the news release.

The ambition of the GMS Programme is to transform transport corridors into full-fledged economic corridors to boost cross border trade and investment, and to stimulate jobs and growth, while the RIF aims to accelerate this process by supporting multi-sector projects.

GMS members include Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA