The construction of a regional electric power system is a major concern and challenge for all the countries of the GMS zone. Indeed, the regional electricity sector has to:
Cope with a strong growing demand;
Improve performances in management and the financial capacities of the electricity companies, and restore the necessary economic confidence allowing the development of private investments in the long term;
Whilst limiting the environmental impacts and by promoting the energy efficiency.
Following the signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Power Interconnection and Trade in September 2003, the Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee (RPTCC) was established. It oversees the establishment of the regulatory, institutional and commercial framework for power trade in the GMS.
This program has been largely supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which plays a central role of coordination and independent mediation in order to direct the discussions and facilitate decision-making. It co-chairs as such the RPTCC.
About the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)
The subregion comprises 6 countries sharing the Mekong River: Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.
Home to more than 300 million people and over 2.5 million square kilometers, the GMS is an area rich in human and natural resources, where the people are bound by a shared culture and unique history.
In 1992, with the assistance of the ADB, these GMS countries met together for the first time. Upon this meeting, each country agreed to participate in ADB’s GMS Economic Cooperation Program (GMS Program). Launching this program was ADB’s means to facilitate substantial economic growth and reduce poverty in the GMS by strengthening the economic linkages among all member countries. The program was also designed to realize and enhance development opportunities, encourage trade and investment, streamline cross-border arrangements, and meet common resource and policy needs.
Today, ADB’s GMS Program has appropriated 36 loans and grants with a total cost of US$10,147.1 million. (source: BOI, Thailand, July 2008)
About the Greater Mekong Subregion Energy Strategy
The GMS Program has focused on the energy sector as one of its priority areas. The ADB, in partnership with the GMS economies, is undertaking a comprehensive study to define a regional strategy for the energy sector. The energy strategy aims to expand cooperation among GMS economies to ensure efficient and affordable access to modern energy services for all.
The Final Regional Consultation Workshop for Developing the GMS Energy Strategy was held on June 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand.
GMS vast wealth of human and natural resources makes it a new frontier for economic growth in Asia. However, unsustainable exploitation of resources and population pressures threaten fragile ecosystems and biodiversity.
The Greater Mekong Subregion Environment Operations Center and its flagship Biodiversity Conservation Corridor Initiative (BCI) is a subregional program facilitated by the Asian Development Bank. It aims at mainstreaming environmental considerations into the GMS Economic Cooperation Program. The program is implemented by the Environment Operations Center (EOC) in partnership with GMS governments, local communities, university networks, development partners and non-governmental organizations.
Disclaimer: This website has been produced with the financial assistance of SIDA through the ADB. The views expressed herein are those of the Organizations involved in the implementation of the project website and can therefore in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of SIDA or the ADB.