Ministers of the six Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries gathered in the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh on August 4 to finalise the GMS Strategic Framework for 2012 – 2022 before submitting it to their leaders for endorsement at a summit in December.

Addressing the 17 th GMS Ministerial Conference, Cambodian Minister of Commerce, Cham Prasidh said that the framework would continue its focus on infrastructure improvement, expanding and strengthening economic corridor development activities in the region, trade and transport facilitation, human resource development, common resources protection, and promoting cooperation between the private sector and development partners to address issues and requirements of the GMS programme.

In the last two decades of cooperation, the GMS countries have achieved great success, but much work remains to be done in the new decade to ensure that they are advancing the GMS economic cooperation programme towards its full potential, Prasidh said.

Established in 1992 with the support of the Asian Development Bank, the GMS programme has nine priority sectors of cooperation – agriculture, energy, environment, human resource development, investment, telecommunications, tourism, transport and transport infrastructure, and trade facilitation.

During the past two decades, the GMS programme made important contributions to poverty reduction and economic and social development in the region.

GMS groups the countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, China and Vietnam./.