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  • Asia: Heading towards a seismic shift

    09/26/2016

    In a decade’s time, visitors to Asean, South and North Asia may find their personal experiences in their respective destinations differ quite drastically.

    Each Asian nation is busy operating at its own pace, plotting a new stage of economic development and growth – despite ongoing global economic uncertainty.

    In the process of this seismic shift, some countries have chosen to work in partnerships while others are tackling the challenges alone. All of them reflect Asia’s unique aspiration to take on global competitive pressure. Some nations aim to get out of the middle-income trap, while others want to secure a higher standard of living for their people.

  • Myanmar likely to join Asean Power Grid

    09/26/2016

    MYANMAR is likely to be the fifth Asean country to sign up for the Asean Power Grid formed by Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, energy ministers have said.

    “We had long discussions with our Myanmar counterparts,” said Laos Vice Minister for Energy and Mines Viraphonh Vilavong. “They are keen to join. I expect that to be quite soon.”

    Viraphonh on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thai Energy Minister General Anantaporn Kanjanarat and Malaysian counterpart Johnity Ongkili that would allow the transportation of electricity.

  • Into the Zone: SEZs in the Mekong Region, Income…or Instability? (Part 2)

    08/15/2016

    While neighboring Thailand’s Special Economic Zones are now progressing without much public consultation or review, Myanmar may be moving in the opposite direction. Its three SEZs which were launched in the waning years of the junta, are now under the direction of the civilian government fully aware of concerns raised by communities and independent researchers, and inclined to take stock of what their predecessors set in motion. At issue are a whole range of social and environmental grievances, as well as the viability of the projects themselves and to what extent they reflect the new leadership’s priorities.

  • Cambodia Pushing for More Benefits From Mekong Integration

    08/08/2016

    The government is seeking to develop ways of increasing the benefit felt by Cambodia from economic corridors opened throughout the Greater Mekong Subregion as part of Asean integration, an official has said.

    Sok Chenda Sophea, secretary general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, told reporters after a meeting of ministers from countries in the region held on Thursday that the government had developed a strategy to remain competitive.

  • Rough Waters of Lower Sesan II Dam

    08/01/2016

    According to the Vietnam River Network, Lower Sesan II dam in Cambodia will affected both environmental and social aspects, not only around the project site but also from the upstream Sesan River to downstream at the Sekong River, Tonle Sap, Vietnam Mekong Delta region and also some parts of Laos and Thailand. However the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for this project only refers some affects around the dam and the transboundary impacts were not mentioned in EIA report.

  • New book: Licensed Larceny: Infrastructure, Financial Extraction and the global South

    07/22/2016

    This new 144-page book, just published by Manchester University Press, argues that the current push worldwide for Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) is not about building infrastructure — roads, bridges, hospitals, ports and railways – for the benefit of society but about constructing new subsidies to benefit the already wealthy. It is less about financing
    development than developing finance.

  • China-Asean Economic Ties

    07/21/2016

    East Asia’s economy is entering a new phase of uncertainties and challenges stemming from complex geopolitics, a weakened European Union (EU) after Brexit, domestic political unpredictability in the US and an economic slowdown in China.

    To maintain economic dynamics, regional countries need to deepen and speed up social, economic and financial reforms. The region needs to continue promoting an open and inclusive regionalism.

  • Vietnam, Laos discuss Vientiane-Hanoi expy project

    07/20/2016

    At a meeting in Laos on Wednesday, the two sides agreed the route layout and related issues for the 760-kilometer expressway connecting the capitals of the two countries, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport.

    The agreement was reached based on results of a pre-feasibility study conducted by Vietnam’s Transportation Design Consultancy Corporation (Tedi).

    The expressway is planned to start from Vientiane, passing through Laos’ Pakxan and Nghe An Province’s Thanh Thuy, and end in Hanoi.

  • China Economy Ripples Into Laos

    07/16/2016

    A decade long mining boom, combined with a rapid development of hydropower, has seen Laos’ growth rate reach over 7 percent a year, allowing national output to more than double, generating some half a million jobs.

    A key player in the economic progress has been China. A recent World Bank report on the Lao economy noted China’s influence was continuing to grow.

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