During the two-day third Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Summit in Vientiane from March 30-31, GMS leaders have defined challenges and opportunities to put forth directions for the sub-region's future development.
In the Joint Summit Declaration signed here on Monday, the six prime ministers from Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam agreed to foster cooperation in developing sub-regional physical infrastructure, transform the improved connectivity into enhanced competitiveness, accelerate improvements in livelihoods and further reduce poverty, and proactively address trans-boundary challenges, such as the transmission of communicable diseases, illegal migration of workers, and environmental degradation.
They also agreed that raising economic competitiveness and accelerating socioeconomic development process through the greater use of improved and expanded connectivity will be the key focus of the six countries' cooperation in the coming years.
The six countries in 1992 kicked off their GMS Program which involves planning and implementing sub-regional projects in nine areas: transport, energy, telecommunications, tourism, environment, human resource development, agriculture, trade facilitation, and private investment.
(Xinhua News Agency March 31, 2008)