Sharing the Benefits from Transportation and Logistics Improvements in the GMS : a Study of the East-West and North-South Corridors

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) comprises Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Yunnan Province of China ¿ an area of about 2.6 million square kilometers and a population of about 300 million people. Although the GMS is the least developed subregion in Southeast Asia, it has become increasingly integrated as a result of cross-border trade and economic arrangements. At the same time, investments into transport linkages (mainly road transport), financed largely by the Asian Development Bank in cooperation with the GMS countries through the Cross Border Transport Agreement (CBTA), are facilitating the movement of goods, services and people within the subregion.

Despite these developments, further research is required to ensure that this regional integration results in inclusive growth. First, the benefits of regional integration will not be realized if the transaction costs of economic activities among the member countries remain high. Second, while there are important benefits for poverty reduction, there are also possible negative impacts and inefficiencies that could result in imbalanced development. Existing studies have provided some general insights into possible impacts, but they do not provide sufficient information about specific changes, their impacts, and policy implications for improvements.

In response to this need, local researchers from policy research institutes in Thailand, Lao PDR, Vietnam, and Yunnan Province propose to carry out a detailed comprehensive study of socio-economic impacts from the development and utilization of two major GMS transport corridors: the North-South corridor and the East-West corridor (see the ADB¿s GMS Transport Strategy 2006-2015). The researchers will also forecast future impacts and derive policy recommendations for improvements.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

End Date

Friday, August 13, 2010


18 months

IDRC Officer

Due, Evan

Total funding

CA$ 300,000


Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia, Cambodia, China, Viet Nam, Thailand


Employment and Growth

Project Leader

Dr Chalongphob Sussangkarn


Thailand Development Research Institute Foundation

Institution Country


Institution Website