Our Region

The Greater Mekong Subregion, historically, has been defined as that area comprising those states which are part of Mekong river basin. Cooperation and coordination over the utilization of that riparian resource - the lifeblood of the region's agricultural production - has been a core aspect of the region's development strategy and multilateral development programming for two decades.

Our focus, at the Greater Mekong Research Center ("Mekong Research") is somewhat narrower, directing our attention to the post-socialist transition economies of Cambodia, Lao, and Vietnam (CLV). These states have confronted and continue to struggle with similar legacies stemming from both 20-century military conflict and the establishment of state-run, command economies. Since the beginning of market-based reform and their subsequent, collective entry into ASEAN, the CLV economies have experienced rapid growth and significant improvements in development as noted by both GDP per capita and the Human Development Index. Nevertheless, significant work remains in order for these countries to move into the ranks of the middle/upper middle income economies.

To support that development, our research and outreach focuses on the development of the small and medium sized enterprise (SME) sector, the expansion of foreign direct investment (FDI), improvements to human capital, the development of civil society, alternatives to and improved implementation of foreign aid, and the building of the rule of law.