GMS was established in 1992 as an initiative of the ADB. The GMS Cooperation Programme is the most complete cooperation programme that involves Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and China’s Yunnan and Guangxi provinces. The programme prioritises infrastructure development, energy, telecommunication, tourism, trade-investment, human resources, and environment.
To realise the common goal of turning the GMS into a prosperous, integrated and harmonious region, leaders of the GMS countries approved a 10-year strategic framework at the fourth GMS Summit in the Philippines in 2011, making it a foundation for GMS cooperation orientations from 2012 to 2022 to boost regional and extra-regional integration and cooperation.
Vietnam has participated actively in the GMS economic cooperation initiative since its establishment. The country’s participation has brought about positive results in economic development and poverty reduction. As of December 2016, cooperation projects within the GMS framework were valued at 5.63 billion USD, of which transport accounted for 87 percent and urban development 7.9 percent.