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Premier Wen: Information superhighway to boost GMS connectivity
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17:36, March 31, 2008

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The completion of phase one of the GMS Information Superhighway Project will help the six countries sharing the Mekong River foster their connectivity with the rest of the world, their information and communication technology and their economic development, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao stated in Vientiane Monday.

The six members of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) -- Laos, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand -- should effectively use the GMS Information Superhighway Network so that their peoples can greatly benefit from it, the premier said at a ceremony for the completion of phase one of the project aimed at developing the network as the backbone of a modern, interconnected telecommunications network in the subregion which is responsive to a pro-poor development program.

"China will continue to closely cooperate with other GMS countries and the Asian Development Bank to implement next phases of the project," he said, noting that the six Mekong nations signed a deal on jointly developing the information superhighway in November 2004.

In the first phase between 2005 and 2008, the six GMS countries are to construct a point-to-point optical transmission system among themselves to lay a sound infrastructure foundation for future smooth telecommunications connections. When the system reaches a certain penetration rate, they will put in place ring networks in the 2009-2010 period, which will support greater transmission capacity and remove telecommunications barriers in the subregion.

During the third GMS Summit in Laos' Vientiane from March 30-31,the six leaders and representatives from the Asian Development Bank touched upon connectivity and competitiveness issues such as the establishment of transport corridors, power interconnection systems and telecommunications networks, improvement of infrastructure links, and measures to facilitate the cross-border movement of goods and services.

The leaders agreed that the 4th GMS Summit will be held in Myanmar in 2011.


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