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Greater Mekong Subregion

From Geographical to Socio-economic Integration

edited by Omkar Lal Shrestha and Aekapol Chongvilaivan

Publication Year: 2013

The large market size and abundant resources of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), including a large, motivated and cheap workforce, a rich agricultural base, extensive timber and fisheries resources, considerable potential mineral resources, and vast energy resources have seen the subregion increasingly recognized as a new frontier of Southeast Asian economic strength. This book aims to assess the recent economic, social and political developments in the GMS and identify emerging opportunities and challenges facing the successful transition towards a market-driven economy. The countries of the GMS are at a critical juncture where subregional efforts and cooperation must be made to fully address the rapidly evolving issues that are vital to appropriate policy formation, yet which remain widely debatable. The deliberations here shed light on the development stages and offer policy recommendations for pushing forward subregional cooperation.

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

Cover Page

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p. 1-1

Title Page

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-7

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pp. vii-x

It has been nearly two decades since the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) regional economic strategy was initiated in 1992, aimed at promoting and integrating the economies of Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Yunnan Province and Guangxi autonomous region of China. Together, they encompass a huge population of over 316 million people (bigger ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xi-xiv


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pp. xv-xvi

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1. Greater Mekong Subregion: From Geographical Corridors to Socio-economic Corridors

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pp. 1-17

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) embraces the nations and territories located in the Mekong river basin, including Cambodia, China (Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), the Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.1 This diverse, dynamic subregion encompasses a huge market of more than 240 million people and a vast land area of 2.3 ...

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2. Cambodia, Its Development, and Integration into the GMS: A Work in Progress

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pp. 18-30

In international development literature Cambodia is often defined as a post-conflict, aid-dependent, least-developed country, all terms with potentially negative implications. This chapter will present a more balanced overview of Cambodia’s recent development and its historical, geopolitical, and economic contexts, highlighting its achievement — until the setback of the global ...

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3. Subregional Connectivity in the Lao PDR: From Landlocked Disadvantage to Land-linked Advantage

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pp. 31-46

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia surrounded by the People’s Republic of China and Myanmar to the north, Thailand to the west, Vietnam to the east, and Cambodia to the south. The country has a large area of 236,800 square kilometres, a population of 6.6 million inhabitants, and a very low population density of ...

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4. The Economic Development of Myanmar and the Relevance of the Greater Mekong Subregion

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pp. 47-73

In 1992 the six GMS countries, with the support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), introduced a programme of subregional economic cooperation (GMS Programme) to enhance their economic relations. Building on their shared histories and cultures, the programme covers nine priority sectors: agriculture, energy, environment, human resource development, investment, ...

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5. GMS Challenges for Thailand

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pp. 74-83

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has progressed a lot and so has the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), in terms of economic cooperation. Now we are moving on Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) economic cooperation. The GMS started later than ASEAN and APEC, but it is catching up very quickly. Discussing the issues concerning ...

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6. Deepening GMS Cooperation in a More Integrated ASEAN and East Asia

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pp. 84-102

Thanks to various measures for domestic economic reforms and regional economic integration, the East Asian economies in general, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member economies in particular, have seen themselves becoming more deeply connected. Economic activities, particularly trade and investment activities, experienced a drastic ...

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7. China (Yunnan)–GMS Economic Cooperation: New Development and New Problems

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pp. 103-118

Located in southwest China, Yunnan is the country’s eighth biggest province in terms of size (394,100 km2) and population (45.53 million, 2008). Besides the Han people, there are twenty-five ethnic minority groups, seventeen of them transnational. Yunnan shares a 4,060-km common border with Myanmar, the Lao PDR, and Vietnam and is close to Thailand, Cambodia, India, ...

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8. Trade and Investment in the Greater Mekong Subregion: Remaining Challenges and the Unfinished Policy Agenda

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pp. 119-161

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is often described as one of the most successful stories of economic transition and integration among developing countries.1 For much of the 1970s and early 1980s, while the rest of Asia was busy growing and integrating with the global economy, the GMS remained extremely poor and isolated — the outcome of years of conflict and central ...

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9. Enhancing Financial Cooperation among the GMS Countries

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pp. 162-171

Financial market development is critical for economic development. This chapter explores the ways by which international financial cooperation — defined broadly to include cooperation in financial market infrastructure development, regulation, as well as the advancement of cross-border financial integration — can help the countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (which ...

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10. The Challenges of GMS Regional Integration: Case Study of Governance of the Logistics Industry in Thailand

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pp. 172-215

With the initiative and assistance of the Asian Development Bank, the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) economic cooperation programme was established in 1992 to promote closer economic cooperation among the GMS countries, which include Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, Yunnan province of China, and Vietnam. The ...

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11. Energy Sector Integration for Low-Carbon Developent in GMS: Towards a Model of South-South Cooperation

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pp. 216-232

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) comprises Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. In 1992, with the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s assistance, the six countries entered into a programme of subregional economic cooperation designed to enhance economic relations ...

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12. Linking the Social to the Economic: Broadened Ambitions and Multiple Mitigations in New Mekong Corridors

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pp. 233-252

Rapid social change, in and of itself, is not new to the region as it has been marked historically by imperialism, wars, and multiple migrations. The Upper Mekong, a previously remote area, has often been the subject of ambitious visions of infrastructure development, but, until recently, seldom the site of their realization. In the nineteenth century, British and French colonial ...


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pp. 253-287

E-ISBN-13: 9789814379694
Print-ISBN-13: 9789814379687

Page Count: 270
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: 1