GMS Background

The GMS is a natural economic area bound together by the Mekong River, covering 2.6 million square kilometers and a combined population of around 326 million. The GMS countries are Cambodia, the People's Republic of China (PRC, specifically Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam

The region has a diverse geographic landscape. With support from ADB and other donors, the GMS Program helps the implementation of high priority sub regional projects in transport, energy, telecommunications, environment, human resource development, tourism, trade, private sector investment, and agriculture

The GMS is divided into three economic corridors:

  1. The North-South Economic Corridor (NSEC);
  2. The East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC); and,
  3. The Southern Economic Corridor (SEC)

The North-South Economic Corridor (NSEC)

Involves three routes along the north to south axis of the GMS geography
The Western Subcorridor: Kunming (PRC)
– Chiang Rai (Thailand) – Bangkok (Thailand) via LAO PDR or Myanmar
The Central Subcorridor: Kunming (PRC) –
Ha Noi (Viet Nam) – Hai Phong (Viet Nam) which connects to the existing Highway No. 1 running from the northern to the southern part of Viet Nam
The Eastern Subcorridor: Nanning (PRC) – Ha Noi (Viet Nam) via the Youyi Pass or Fangchenggang (PRC) – Dongxing (PRC) – Mong Cai (Viet Nam) route.

The East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC)

Runs from Da Nang Port in Viet Nam, through Lao PDR, Thailand, and to the Mawlamyine Port in Myanmar. It extends 1,320 kilometers as a continuous land route between the Indian Ocean (Andaman Sea) and the South China Sea, intersecting the North-South Economic Corridor at the provinces of Tak and Phitsanulok in Thailand

The Southern Economic Corridor (SEC)

Comprises the following sub corridors & intercorridor link connecting major towns and cities in the southern part of GMS:

  • The Central Sub-corridor: Bangkok-Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Minh City-Vung Tau;
  • The Northern Subcorridor: Bangkok-Siem Reap-Stung Treng-Rattanakiri-O Yadov-Pleiku-Quy Nhon;
  • The Southern Coastal Subcorridor: Bangkok-Trat-Koh Kong-Kampot-Ha Tien-Ca Mau City-Nam Can; and
  • The Intercorridor Link: Sihanoukville-Phnom Penh-Kratie-Stung Treng-Dong Kralor (Tra Pang Kriel)-Pakse-Savannakhet, which links the three SEC subcorridors with the East-West Economic Corridor.