MANILA, PHILIPPINES (3 December 2004) - Ministers of the six countries sharing the Mekong River will gather in Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic, on 14-16 December 2004, to discuss ways to intensify regional cooperation.
With increasing efforts in Asia towards greater economic integration, the ministers from the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries - Cambodia, People's Republic of China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam - will discuss at their 13th GMS Ministerial Conference how to move cooperation more effectively to achieve their common goal of growth, equity and prosperity for the subregion.
The GMS Program, assisted by ADB since 1992, has catalyzed the move towards regional economic integration by enhancing physical connectivity among the GMS countries and thus improving the competitiveness of the region's products in Asia and beyond.
The ministerial meeting will include a GMS Senior Officials Meeting on 14 December, a Development Partners Meeting on 15 December and the Ministerial Meeting on 16 December.
The Development Partners Meeting will bring together representatives from more than 50 bilateral and multilateral development agencies as well as representatives of the private sector. "The investment requirements in the GMS region are huge and it will therefore be critically important for the GMS countries to successfully mobilize new resources from public and private sectors inside and outside the region," said Rajat Nag, Director General of ADB's Mekong Department.
"The GMS countries' dialogue with existing and new development partners is very important feature of the GMS Ministerial Conference," said Mr. Nag.
The GMS Ministers will also discuss the preparation for the Second GMS Leaders' Summit to be held in Kunming, PRC in July 2005.
Home to some 250 million people, the subregion, as big as Western Europe, is expected to become a dynamic growth area in the years ahead.
For further details of the Ministerial Conference, please contact Tsukasa Maekawa (firstname.lastname@example.org), Principal External Relations Specialist, at tel. 632-632-5875 or Grace Sioting at tel. 632-632-5889.