Member Activities :: Asia-Pacific Cooperation Helps Connect the Mekong Region
Promoting investment in and efficient
management of transport, electricity and telecommunications infrastructure
in the countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) was the focus of
a recent training course for government officials from the Mekong region
held in Vientiane, Lao PDR.
Provided by the Greater Mekong Subregion Tertiary
Education Consortium Trust (GMSTEC), the course addressed the role of
competition and regulation, public-private partnerships, stakeholder management,
and governance issues in infrastructure.
The course was sponsored by the Asian Development
Bank (ADB) in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington, New
Zealand, as part of ADBï¿½s Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management
- a demand-driven programme of training courses targeting the priority
capacity building needs of GMS officials.
The course supports wider efforts by ADB and
other donors to address the policy and management issues relating to the
development of interconnecting infrastructure in the region. Professors
from New Zealand, Vietnam, Thailand and Lao PDR provided a mix of applied
theory and regional cases to demonstrate the practical application of
economic principles to the infrastructure challenges of the GMS.
ï¿½The development of regional economic corridors, power networks and telecommunications
links is seen as a crucial step towards poverty elimination and development
in the Mekong regionï¿½ said Professor Neil Quigley, Chairman of GMSTEC.
ï¿½Efficient networks ensure that domestic industry and small-medium enterprises
are able to source inputs at lower cost, thereby increasing their competitiveness
and ability to provide growth and employment opportunities for poor peopleï¿½.
ï¿½GMSTEC aims to promote development in the GMS by combining expertise
from universities in New Zealand, Australia and the Mekong region to offer education
and training programmes that address issues specific to GMS developmentï¿½