The Fifth Joint Committee Meeting for the Greater Mekong Subregion Cross-Border Transport Facilitation Agreement

On 16 December 2016, H. E. Mr. SUN Chanthol, Senior Minister and Minister of Public Works and Transport of Cambodia attended the Fifth Joint Committee Meeting for the Greater Mekong Subregion Cross-Border Transport Facilitation Agreement in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Transport Minister of Thailand and Mr. Hideaki Iwasaki, Director, Transport and Communication Division, Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank and attended by the GMS Transport Ministers and representatives from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, and China.

The Ministers appreciated the continued support from ADB and other development partners and requested ADB to continue to serve as the Secretariat of the Joint Committee and to coordinate and facilitate implementation of the Cross-Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA) 'Early Harvest' and updating process, and to mobilize support from other development partners since a long-term focus on capacity development is critical and is needed to continue ongoing and newly initiated activities.

The Ministers congratulated Cambodia and Thailand for: 1.) the signature of an addendum to their MOU on the Exchange of Traffic Rights to increase the current vehicle quotas from 40 to 150, and 2.) signature of an agreement on the construction of a new border bridge at Stung Bot-Ban Nong Ian (Cambodian-Thai border gate).

The Ministers welcomed the progress made on the facilitation of frontier formalities through implementation of full Single Stop Inspection/Single Window Inspection (SSI/SWI) at the Lao Bao - Dansavanh border crossing between Lao PDR and Vietnam and look forward to the 2017 launch of SSI/SWI at the Savannakhet - Mukdahan border crossing, and at other border crossings listed in Protocol 1 of the CBTA.

Recognizing the importance of data collection, monitoring and evaluation in gauging Transport and Trade Facilitation (TTF) progress, and in informing GMS policy decisions, the Ministers agreed to enhance monitoring and evaluation of TTF in the GMS, including CBTA implementation, through the annual collection and submission of TTF data at border crossings listed under CBTA Protocol 1. The Ministers encouraged the Senior Officials of the National Transport Facilitation Committee (NTFC) to continue to improve the accuracy of data collected and the alignment of data between countries at shared border crossings.

The Ministers endorsed the 5th Joint Committee Ministerial Statement which includes the NTFC SOM Reports (recommendations and modalities for the launch of the GMS Road Transport Permits and Temporary Admission Documents) and Work Plan toward full implementation of the CBTA.

Source: Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Kingdom of Cambodia