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Kingdom slated to host GMS Summit

Kingdom slated to host GMS Summit

Cambodia is slated to host the Seventh Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Summit in the first quarter of 2021, Council for the Development of Cambodia secretary-general Sok Chenda Sophea said on Monday.

Sophea said at the GMS Ministers’ Conference in Siem Reap province on Monday that delegates are to review technical work to guide the GMS strategy framework 2020-2030.

The meetings are to comprise of two levels, Sophea said. The first one is at a technical level, with sector representatives participating with relevant ministries, while the second level is composed of ministerial meetings to review the technical team’s results.

“The upcoming GMS Strategy Framework will include several adjustments since the world and especially our region is undergoing tremendous change and we will likely face lots of big problems in the future,” he said.

The GMS is composed of countries along the Mekong River, including Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and two Chinese provinces.

The transnational regional body was founded in 1992 aiming to develop border cooperation in agriculture, energy, environment, human resources, information and communication technology, transport, trade and urban development.

Asia Development Bank (ADB) vice-president Ahmed Saeed told The Post that the GMS has invested nearly $23 billion since it was founded.

The ADB, Saeed said, made 42 per cent of the investments, another 26 per cent was provided by GMS governments and that the remainder arrived through various cooperation agreements.

He said Cambodia has received some $1.3 billion in ADB funding for 23 cooperative projects since 1996. There were also two GMS projects on the horizon for Cambodia worth more than $70 million – including road and other projects.

“We have the vision to continue positively contributing to growth, especially in terms of infrastructure in the region,” he said.

At last year’s summit in Hanoi, Cambodia launched 11 transportation projects worth a combined $2.3 billion, the least of any GMS country. Of that total, $1.6 billion came from the Chinese-funded expressway from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville.

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