Greater Mekong Subregion countries to boost transportation connectivity

Friday, May 26, 2017 14:34

Lao Bao International Border Gate at the border between Viet Nam and Laos. It is among the 15 borders at which rules of GMS-CBTA are to be applied. – Photo

Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries are accelerating negotiations to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the implementation of a cross-border transport facilitation agreement.

The agreement will reduce non-physical barriers to transport and trade in the region.

The information was revealed at a meeting of the Joint Committee for the Greater Mekong Subregion Cross-Border Transport Agreement (GMS-CBTA), which concluded in Ha Noi on Thursday.

The memorandum will allow each of six member countries -- Viet Nam, Cambodia, China and Laos, as well as Myanmar and Thailand -- to issue a maximum of 500 GMS Road Transport Permits and Temporary Admission Documents for commercial vehicles of member countries.

According to Viet Nam Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong, head of the host country’s delegation at the meeting, regional countries have built roads to connect with each other. However, they are still short of implementing intra-regional transportation activities.

“The memorandum is aimed at solving this issue as well as facilitating the travel of people and enterprises in GMS countries,” he said.

He said Viet Nam expects to complete all the final internal procedures by June towards signing and implementing the MoU.

Representatives from other countries also agreed to speed up the signing of the MoU and pledged to fast-track the completion of their internal procedures to implement the GMS transportation activities at the earliest.

GMS-CBTA is a single comprehensive legal instrument that includes all of the non-physical measures for cross-border land transport. Under the CBTA, vehicles, drivers, goods and passengers will be allowed to cross national borders through the GMS road transport system.

Starting as a trilateral agreement among Viet Nam, Laos, and Thailand in 1999, the agreement, supported by the Asian Development Bank, was then expanded with the participation of Cambodia, China and Myanmar. The full implementation of GMS-CBTA is expected by 2019. – VNS

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