KRABI, THAILAND, 13TH SEPTEMBER 2019 – The 25th IMT-GT Ministerial Meeting was held in Krabi, Thailand on 13 September 2019 and the meeting was chaired by His Excellency Dr. Atirat Ratanasate, Deputy Minister of Transport, the Kingdom of Thailand. The meeting was also attended by His Excellency Mr. Rizal Affandi Lukman, Deputy Minister for International Economic Cooperation, Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Republic of Indonesia, His Excellency Dr. Radzi Jidin, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs Malaysia, Mr. Firdaus Dahlan, Director Centre for IMT-GT Subregional Cooperation, Mr. Ramesh Subramaniam, Director General Southeast Asia Regional Department, Asian Development Bank and Dr. Aladdin D. Rillo, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Economy Community.
For the period of 2013 to 2017, IMTGT has recorded an average annual growth of 4.5 per cent. In the same period, Per capita GDP at current PPP has increased from USD12,824 in 2011 to USD15,134. Both the unemployment rate and poverty incidence are gradually declining.
On the development of Physical Connectivity Projects (PCPs) that consist of the construction of roads, trains, bridges, seaports, airports, CIQ facilities, environment and special economic zones, has increased to USD48 billion total worth of investment, additional of USD1 billion as compared to last year. This is partly due to some of the projects have entered the second phase of construction. There are 37 projects initiated for the period of 2017-2021, which are 9 have completed, 23 are under construction and 5 in the initial stage. The completion of the PCP is expected to facilitate the trade activities, cross-border and most importantly, enhance connectivity for greater movement.
The Ministers also discussed the current global megatrends such as the rise of technology and climate change. IMT-GT is urged to conduct the revision of Implementation Blueprint 2017-2021 (IB2017-2021) to cope up with the global megatrends. The revision will cover all IMT-GT sectors namely; agriculture and agro-based industry; tourism; halal products and services; transport and ICT connectivity; trade and investment; and human resource development, education and culture and environment. This will also involve the participation from various stakeholders including the private sector and local governments.
IMT-GT Joint Business Council (JBC) was also attended the meeting and has presented their planning both short and long term during the 26th IMT-GT Senior Officials’ Meeting. The Ministers have expressed their support on their planning and encourage active participation of the private sector in the subregion. They also updated on the legalization progress of the IMT-GT JBC which expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2020 and the head office will be located in Thailand.
Yesterday also held the 16th IMT-GT Chief Ministers and Governors Forum (CGMF) attended by the Chief Ministers and Governors of states and provinces in IMT-GT. 26 states and provinces attended the meeting and they had reported the progress made on the initiatives and programmes under IMT-GT. CMGF provide a platform for the states and provinces as well as the local governments in the subregion to voice their issues and challenges as well as to further strengthen the collaboration between states and provinces in the subregion.
In conjunction with the 25th IMT-GT Ministerial Meeting, Integrated Green Urban Transportation Plans Seminar was held supported by Asian Development Bank – ADB. The main objective of this seminar is to disseminate the outcome of the study on transport in selected cities in IMT-GT namely, Phuket, Krabi, Langkawi, Penang, Banda Aceh and Pekanbaru. The keynote address was delivered by His Excellency Dr. Atirat Ratanasate, Deputy Minister of Transport, the Kingdom of Thailand. Besides presenting on the result of the study, a panel session discussing the follow-up action that could be taken to implement green transportation plan was also conducted.
The next Chairman of IMT-GT, Indonesia, will host the 26th IMT-GT Ministerial Meeting in September 2020, in West Sumatera, Indonesia.