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Cross-border economic cooperation to revitalize GMS countries: academics

Source:   Time:

  BANGKOK, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation has revitalized the development of border area, which enjoys location advantage, and proved to be a new development strategy for less developed countries in this region, an academic Friday said here at an international conference on GMS cross-border economic relations in Chulalongkorn University.

  The location advantages of border areas in GMS, in particular of those between less developed regions and more developed ones, include complementary factor endowment, cross-border infrastructure services and the degree of economic integration and border barriers, said Toshihiro Kudo in the meeting, who is from Area Studies Center, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan.

  In his speech, Kudo pointed out that how to make the utmost use of economic corridors for the overall economic development of GMS countries remains an important task and challenge, particularly for the least developed countries, such as Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

  By mentioning economic corridors, he meant the three multi- country transport artery across mainland Southeast Asia, especially the North-South Economic Corridor that connects Kunming to Bangkok, and the East-West one that connects the Indian Ocean with the South China Sea. Now the infrastructure development of these transport links has steadily progressed, Kudo said.

  Zhu Zhenming, a professor from Yunnan Academy of Social Science of China, spoke on the GMS cross-border economic relations.

  The GMS Cooperation initiated by Asian Development Bank in 1992 is the most productive economic cooperation mechanism in this region, and China, as a country in upstream Mekong River, attaches importance to the GMS economic cooperation, Zhu said.

  He said that in China, cooperating with other GMS countries was mainly undertaken by Yunnan province, in ways of speeding up construction of cross-border road, strengthening cooperation in cross-border transportation, carrying out border trade, etc.

  The International Conference on "Cross-border Economic Relations in GMS: Impacts and Implications", was organized by Mekong Studies Center, Institute of Asian Studies of Chulalongkorn University of Thailand and Sasakawa Peace Foundation of Japan.

  In the meeting held in the university of the highest prestige in Thailand, academics from Laos, Myanmar, China, Thailand and Vietnam shared their views on the GMS countries' bilateral and multi-lateral economic relations, cooperation and border area development.

  Five research teams representing five of the GMS countries have undertaken thorough study on this project in the past two or three years, financed by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, and a final report will soon be released.

  

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