Where We Work

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) covers 2.6 million square kilometers and is home to 332 million people. Bound by the Mekong River, it is a natural economic area with an enormous wealth of human and natural resources. Comprised of Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China (PRC, specifically Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam, the great majority largely depend on agriculture, forestry and fishing as their source of livelihood and food security in the region.

The GMS member countries have demonstrated their comparative advantage through expanded trade—gaining a sizable share of global markets for key food and agricultural products, such as rice, cassava, prawns, processed fish, poultry products, and rubber. The foundation of the subregion’s agricultural comparative advantage is the quality of natural resources, fertile agro-ecosystems, and rich biodiversity.

The GMS has the potential to be one of the fastest growing regions in Asia. Rapid economic development has made it possible to achieve prosperity in the region. However, improvement in living standards and increasing demand for natural resources is coming at a cost. Global concerns such as climate change, rising food prices, water security and rising rural energy demand are some of the issues currently plaguing the region.




Capital : Phnom Penh

Total Surface Area : 181,040 sq.km

Population : 14.68 million (2013 Estimate)

Language: Khmer

Currency : Riel

Major Industries : Textiles and Garments, Beverages, Food Processing, Wood Processing

Major Exports : Garments, Textile Product Sawn, Wood Furniture, Rubber, Milled Rice and Cassava

Major Imports : Transport equipment and machinery, manufactured goods

The People’s Republic of China45900-014: Municipal Water Distribution Infrastructure Development Project

Capital: Beijing

Total Surface Area: 9,596,960 sq km

Population: 1,360.72 million (2013 Estimate)

Language: Putonghua (Beijing dialect mandarin)






Lao People’s Democratic Republic37910: LAO: GMS Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project 37734: GMS Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Development Project

Capital: Vientiane

Total Surface Area: 236,800 sq.km

Population: 6.66 million (2013 Estimate)

Language: Lao

Currency: Kip

Major Industries: Garment industry, wood-based and processing industries, electricity

Major Exports: Coffee, electricity, clothing, wood and forest product and Gypsum

Major Imports: Industrial machinery, chemicals, iron, electrical machinery and parts, steel, oil, construction material and consumption goods



MyanmarMyanmar Stock Images

Capital: Nay Pyi Taw

Total Surface Area: 676,590 sq.km

Population: 61.65 million (2013 Estimate)

Language: Burmese

Currency: Myanmar Kyat

Major Industries: Agro-based industries, textiles industries, steel mills

Major Exports: Rice, teak, beans & pulses, rubber, coffee, minerals, gems marine products

Major Imports: Power tillers, hand tractor, fertilizer, diesel oil, cement, dumper, loader and spare parts, water pumps, hydraulic excavator



ThailandGMS Route 3

Capital: Bangkok

Total Surface Area: 513,120 sq.km

Population: 64.62 million (2013 Estimate)

Language: Thai

Currency: Baht

Major Industries: Agriculture, Manufacturing

Major Exports: rice, automatic data processing machines and parts, motor cars, parts and accessories, precious stones and jewelry, refined fuels, electronic integrated circuits

Major Imports: crude oil, machinery and parts, iron and steel products, chemicals, electrical machinery and parts



Viet NamPoverty and Environment Fund (PEF)

Capital : Hanoi

Total Surface Area: 330,960 sq.km

Population: 89.71 (2013 Estimate)

Language: Vietnamese

Currency: Dong

Major Industries: Agriculture, forestry, fishery, industrial construction

Major Exports: crude oil, marine products, rice, coffee, rubber, tea, garments, footwear

Major Imports: machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer, steel products, raw cotton, grain, cement, motorcycles.


Source: Total Surface Area and Population – ADB Basic Statistics 2014

Photos – ADB Photos