NOTE: The following is the English language transcription of a speech by Yang Shiji, Vice Director of the Yunnan Provincial Government’s Research Office, presented on June 5, 2013 at a workshop on GMS (Greater Mekong Subregion) Freight Transport Association Capacity Building. The first part contains an interesting portrayal of connectivity potentials and a brief history of transportation linkages between China and Southeast Asia. The reader should keep in mind that the area in discussion contains some of the most difficult terrain in the world, but the speaker’s main concerns are inter-government cooperation and the harmonization of customs and trade procedures throughout the region. The final portion of the speech provides a framework to improve connectivity and upgrade logistical services within the region.
For reference, a map of the Greater Mekong Subregion is linked here.
“Strengthening Cooperation and Promoting Cross-border Transport Logistics in the Greater Mekong Subregion”
Cross-border logistics is an emerging industry combining several composite services such as transport, warehousing, and information. Connecting production with consumption and linking countries to the outside world, the industry is composed of tangible and intangible factors and covers the entire process from product manufacturing to commodity flow. Therefore, giving full play to the function and role of transport and upgrading the efficiency of cross-border logistic transport will have significant impact on all aspects of the economic and social lives of the countries in the GMS. With the maturation of China’s market economy, a professional and efficient logistic system has been an indispensible factor for upgrading the quality of its economic functions, the income of its enterprises, and an accelerator for its entire national economy.
Located at the junction of China and Southeast Asia, the South Asian Subcontinent, Yunnan borders with Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar, and shares with them a 4060 km national boundary line, about one-fifth of China’s total land border. It has 25 frontier counties, 23 national entry ports, and over 100 trading channels for border residents. To its east Yunnan is linked to the Zhujiang River delta and the Yangtze River delta economic circles, and to its south it has direct access from three routes, east, central, and west, to Hanoi, Bangkok, Singapore, and Rangoon via the Kunming-Bangkok highway and the Pan-Asia Railway, currently under construction. It is the gateway to the vast western hinterland of China to its north. To its west, it has access to the Indian Ocean via Myanmar. In a word, the province enjoys the locational advantage in “connecting with two oceans, the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean, and linking with three major markets in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.” Continue reading