The Greater Mekong Subregion
The 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.Source: Total Surface Area and Population – ADB Basic Statistics 2014