The GMS Business Council (GMS-BC) is a Private Sector Organization, established in 2000 to support Governments’ Regional Economic Cooperation, with the aims to develop private sector participation in the development of GMS Economic Corridors.
To support the activities of the GMS Development Program, the GMS-BC has established private sector led working groups to promote the development trade and investment along the GMS economic corridors. The activities have been centered to facilitate cross-border trade and transport, through the operation of the GMS Freight Transport Association (GMS-FRETA); to Improve the business environment and access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); to enhance the participation of the private sector in the infrastructure development projects of the GMS Regional Investment Framework (RIF); and to address pre-and-post disaster preparedness and mitigation for GMS enterprises.
The GMS is entering its third decade of collaboration with a stronger commitment to its shared objectives in connectivity, community, and competitiveness. The GMS recently adopted a new action plan - the Hanoi Action Plan 2018 (HAP) - that call for an expansion of economic corridors to boost connectivity between countries. GMS Governments also endorsed the GMS Regional Investment Framework 2022, to support the HAP through a pipeline of 227 investment and Technical Assistance projects valuated at 66 Billion US Dollars. The GMS Governments encourages development partners and the private sector to meet financing requirements in the GMS. The GMS-BC represents the participation of the private sector to contribute to the thrusts of the GMS.
In order to enable the GMS-BC to participate effectively, the Private Sector Development Strategic Action Plan 2018 prepared by the council with the support of the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) is aligned with the GMS focus areas specified in the HAP 2018-2020. GMS-BC strategic action plan focuses on major areas namely transport and trade facilitation, energy, agriculture, environment, tourism, urban and border area development, human resources developments, and e-commerce, including MSMEs, and young and women entrepreneurs as cross cutting issues.
To strengthen cooperation and development of the private sector through information sharing, networking, and public-private sector dialogue, membership is open to businesses of all kinds, international and national, operating in GMS countries.