The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday, aiming to support economic development programs mainly in countries along the Greater Mekong Subregion.
The partnership agreement was signed by James Nugent, Director General of the ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, and Newin Sinsiri, president of the Neighboring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (Neda), at the Finance Ministry. Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong also witnessed the event.
Under the agreement, the ADB and Neda will jointly support development programs in transport, energy, urban development, special economic zones, health and education.
“The forms of cooperation include co-financing, knowledge sharing and capacity building based on common areas of interest and the expertise of each organization, as well as the priority areas of the targeted countries,” said Yasushi Negishi, the ADB Country Director for Thailand.
Meanwhile, the two agencies are currently eyeing the possibility of funding economic developments in towns in Myanmar, such as Myawaddy, Hpa-An and Mawlamyine, with the hope that the corridor towns’ economic activities and growth centres will contribute to the transformation of the Greater Mekong Subregion’s East-West Corridor into a “full-fledged economic corridor.”
The Manila-based ADB has provided more than US$6 billion for investment and over $100 million for technical assistance in the region over the past 20 years through a wide variety of schemes ranging from transport infrastructure to communicable disease controls.
The Greater Mekong Subregion covers Cambodia, parts of China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.