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  • Mekong projects ‘to kill biodiversity’

    11/14/2016

    DEVELOPMENT projects in the lower reaches of the Mekong River will take a great toll on the area’s biodiversity, experts have warned, with much of its fauna and flora facing imminent extinction.

    In the face of major projects, such as the plan for a navigation route on the Mekong from Chiang Rai province down to Luang Prabang in Laos, as well as a controversial dam, concerned academics and experts attended the Greater Mekong Forum in Bangkok on Friday.

  • What’s the Deal with “Sustainable Banking”?

    09/20/2016

    Citizens in the Mekong region are increasingly hearing about “sustainable banking,” mostly associated with infrastructure and energy projects. It means regional banks, slow to commit to sustainability, are increasingly considering more responsible ways of doing business.

    Cambodia recently joined Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China and 20 other emerging market economies in committing to better environmental and social risk management practices under the International Finance Corporation’s (World Bank Group) Sustainable Banking Network. And just this week, the Association of Banks in Cambodia (ABC) announced an initiative promising to work toward sustainable banking principles for Cambodia, “as ways to mitigate the damage associated with infrastructure, energy and large scale agribusiness projects.”

  • Banks Commit to Sustainable Finance

    09/20/2016

    Banks in Cambodia will strive to improve sustainability, and integrate environmental and social safeguards into future business decisions, the Association of Banks of Cambodia (ABC) announced yesterday.

    At a ceremony at the Himawari Hotel in Phnom Penh, ABC acting chairman Charles Vann said the association was committed to improving the banking sector.

  • Officials committed to Dawei

    09/08/2016

    Thai officials and their Myanmar counterparts remain committed to the long-awaited Dawei megaproject, with the Myanmar-Thailand Joint High-Level Committee (JHC) and the Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) to be set up soon to foster development.

    Porametee Vimolsiri, secretary-general to the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), said the recent joint ministerial meeting held on Aug 15-16 in Myanmar agreed to revitalise the role of the JHC and the JCC to rev up the multibillion-dollar project.

    New sets of the two committees, which stalled before Myanmar held a general election on Nov 8 last year, are to be established soon.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The road to Dawei is paved with empty promises

    06/23/2016

    Burma’s State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi will meet with Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to discuss bilateral issues focused on trade and economic cooperation during her visit to Thailand on 23-25 June. Meanwhile, the Thai government has announced yet again plans to put the long-delayed Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project higher on its agenda.

    In 2012, Suu Kyi visited Thailand on her first trip outside of Burma in 24 years. She met with Burmese migrant workers in Mahachai, Samut Sakhon province, which has the largest migrant community in Thailand. At that time, she promised to do her best to improve the country’s economy so that migrant workers would have jobs to return home to in Burma.

  • PDF REPORT Analysis on ADB Investments in the Greater Mekong – NGO Forum on ADB

    06/21/2016

    Since 1992 the Asian Development Bank (ADB) initiated the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Program encompassing the five countries and parts of China. As of 2016, over USD 14 billion has been invested by the ADB. The GMS program is another flagship endeavor by ADB under the strategic pillar entitled “regional economic integration”. Furthermore the GMS Regional Investment Framework (RIF) 2013 – 2022 serves as the master plan for over 200 projects with an estimated investment of about USD 50 billion.1

    Civil society-led impact studies on ADB funded GMS projects suggest that groups mostly dependent on natural resources bear the brunt of direct disempowerment from practices such as mining, logging, involuntary resettlement and road-building among others. Once removed from their rights of access to their customary resources, the ADB presupposes that affected communities will invariably integrate into new market-based economies. Most often than not, however this is far from the local reality.

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