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General articles and reports on regional and global dynamics

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Title: The New Geopolitics of Southeast Asia
Date of publication: November 2012
Description/subject: "Southeast Asian states risk becoming pawns in a geopolitical clash between two extra-regional superpowers. This report analyses how the states in the region are responding to the challenge posed by the strategic interests of the US and China in their geography and economy. If the Southeast Asian states are to take advantage of the opportunities presented by China’s rise and the United States’ pivot, they must stand together in the geopolitical contest currently taking place in the region. However, this is not an easy task: regional states are caught in what game theory would view as a classic ‘prisoners’ dilemma’ that will require a deep degree of trust to escape."..... Executive Summary, Nicholas Kitchen, Editor, IDEAS Reports... The Clash: Indispensable Nation? The United States in Southeast Asia Michael Cox... China and Southeast Asia, Odd Arne Westad ... Southeast Asia between China and the United States, Munir Majid... The Theatre of Competition: Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos) . Ang Cheng Guan... Indonesia, Rizal Sukma... Malaysia, Johan Saravanamuttu... Myanmar, Jürgen Haacke... The Philippines, Emmanuel Yujuico... Singapore, Robyn Klingler Vidra... Thailand, Thitinan Pongsudhirak... Conclusion: The Regional Dynamic Forging a Regional Response, Munir Majid.
Language: English
Source/publisher: London School of Economics (LSE)
Format/size: html. pdf
Date of entry/update: 31 May 2013

Individual Documents

Title: New role for India in Myanmar
Date of publication: 13 September 2013
Description/subject: "Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing. With ongoing communal and ethnic violence on one hand and the implementation of bold reform initiatives on the other, Myanmar's transition from authoritarianism to democracy presents immense challenges as well as opportunities for neighboring India. How New Delhi reacts to these tests will have wide-ranging impacts on the future of India-Myanmar relations. The challenges are many. The diplomatic row over pillar number 76 in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur on the Indo-Myanmar border in Holenphai village near Moreh has added to long-running border problems. Although the two sides have agreed to negotiate the issue peacefully, past misunderstandings and alleged intrusions have raised alarm bells on both sides of the border..."
Author/creator: Sonu Trivedi
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 May 2014

Title: Asian Development Bank Interim Country Partnership Strategy: Myanmar, 2012-2014 REGIONAL COOPERATION AND INTEGRATION (SUMMARY)
Date of publication: September 2012
Description/subject: Role of Regional Cooperation and Integration in Myanmar’s Development: 1. Myanmar is strategically located in Asia. Having the largest land area in mainland Southeast Asia, it shares borders with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on the north and northeast, Lao PDR and Thailand on the east and southeast, and Bangladesh and India on the west and northwest. It has a long coastline of around 2,800 km which provides access to sea routes and deep-sea ports. It has the potential to serve as a land bridge between Southeast and South Asia, and between Southeast Asia and the PRC. Regional cooperation and integration (RCI), therefore, provides Myanmar with a great opportunity to secure benefits in terms of access to regional and global markets, technology, and finance and management expertise. It can also promote inflows of foreign direct investment which can enable Myanmar to link up with regional and global supply networks. Besides expanding employment opportunities, RCI can also help in addressing social and environmental concerns through cooperation with neighboring countries...II. The GMS Program... III. Myanmar and the GMS Program...IV. GMS Economic Corridors ...V. Myanmar’s Participation in BIMSTEC... VI. Issues facing the GMS Program including Myanmar...VII. RCI Opportunities in Myanmar...
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Format/size: pdf (106K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/mya-interim-2012-2014-oth-01.pdf
Date of entry/update: 28 September 2012

Title: Beibu Gulf: Emerging Sub-regional Integration between China and ASEAN
Date of publication: 02 January 2009
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: This paper describes and analyzes an emerging sub-regional integration project between China and ASEAN: the Beibu (Tonkin) Gulf Economic Zone and the associated Pan-Beibu Gulf Economic Region. We describe the historical and economic background and the origins of this new initiative. We analyze the opportunities and challenges that this sub-regional integration project may encounter. We conclude that the Pan-Beibu economic cooperation area is likely to become another economic integration initiative to further bind the economies of China and most of the Southeast Asian countries. If this sub-regional integration plan eventually takes shape in a five- to ten-year timeframe, it would have profound strategic and political implications for China-ASEAN relations and international relations in East Asia.
Author/creator: Gu Xiaosong and Li Mingjiang
Language: English
Source/publisher: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies Singapore
Format/size: pdf (158K)
Date of entry/update: 08 October 2010

Title: Development of Border Economic Zones in Thailand: Expansion of Border Trade and Formation of Border Economic Zones
Date of publication: May 2008
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "In the wake of economic globalization and development in Thailand, movement of people and commodities at the Thai borders is also becoming pronounced. Economic interdependence between Thailand and neighboring countries is growing through border customhouses. As a policy, Thailand is trying to stimulate trade and investment with neighboring countries following the ACMECS (Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy) scheme. In this report, first, movement of people and goods at the borders will be examined. Second, clarification of where and how development is proceeding will be presented. Last, this study will attempt to review the perspectives of policies on neighboring countries after Thaksin."... Keywords: migrant worker, border trade, border economic zone, ACMECS, contract farming, CBTA (Cross Border Transport Agreement), economic corridor... JEL classification: O53, R11
Author/creator: Takao TSUNEISHI
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of Developing Economies (IDE Discussion paper No, 153)
Format/size: pdf (843K)
Alternate URLs: http://ir.ide.go.jp/dspace/bitstream/2344/766/3/ARRIDE_Discussion_No.153_tsuneishi.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 December 2008

Title: LOOK EAST, LOOK SOUTH:- Backward Border Regions in India and China
Date of publication: March 2008
Description/subject: "...Even by the standards of developing countries, the border between India and China is characterized by large regions that are economically backward and under developed. Moreover, ethnic strife and people’s movements for autonomy are distinctively noticeable and common on both sides of the border. It’s only in recent years that both the countries have tried to launch new initiatives to develop these regions. This short paper attempts to trace the policies of the two neighbours towards their border regions and understand the recent changes in strategy for regional development against the background of the two booming Asian economies and its increasing integration in the global economy. In the case of India this region comprises the so-called north-eastern states (formerly known as Assam and NEFA) and includes the state of Sikkim, which in 1976 was forcibly included in the Indian Union. In the case of China, the western and south western tip of the country comprise of the provinces of Yunnan, Guangxi, Guizhou and the autonomous region of Tibet (we exclude the north western border regions of Xinjiang and Inner Mangolia). It is significant that in both the countries, the border regions are the most backward and underdeveloped (Table 1 and 2). The high rate of growth in the two economies has only increased the regional gap and inequalities in both the countries. It’s only during the last decade or so that both the governments have sought to tackle the growing inequality and discontentment among the people of these sensitive regions. In the case of India, the problem is further compounded by the ethnic strife and armed insurgencies that have resulted in wide-spread violence and state repression accompanied by the militarization of the entire region..."
Author/creator: Sushil Khanna
Language: English
Source/publisher: Indian Institute of Management Calcutta
Format/size: pdf (101K)
Date of entry/update: 22 March 2008

Title: Border Industry in Myanmar: Turning the Periphery into the Center of Growth
Date of publication: October 2007
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "The Myanmar economy has not been deeply integrated into East Asia's production and distribution networks, despite its location advantages and notably abundant, reasonably well-educated, cheap labor force. Underdeveloped infrastructure, logistics in particular, and an unfavorable business and investment environment hinder it from participating in such networks in East Asia. Service link costs, for connecting production sites in Myanmar and other remote fragmented production blocks or markets, have not fallen sufficiently low to enable firms, including multi-national corporations to reduce total costs, and so the Myanmar economy has failed to attract foreign direct investments. Border industry offers a solution. The Myanmar economy can be connected to the regional and global economy through its borders with neighboring countries, Thailand in particular, which already have logistic hubs such as deep-sea ports, airports and trunk roads. This paper examines the source of competitiveness of border industry by considering an example of the garment industry located in the Myanmar-Thai border area. Based on such analysis, we recognize the prospects of border industry and propose some policy measures to promote this on Myanmar soil." Keywords: Myanmar (Burma), Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), regional cooperation, border industry, cross-border trade, migrant workers, logistics, center-periphery JEL classification: F15, F22, J31, L67
Author/creator: Toshihiro Kudo
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of Developing Economies (IDE Discussion Paper 122)
Format/size: pdf (1.3MB)
Date of entry/update: 22 April 2008

Title: Industrial zones in Burma and Burmese labour in Thailand
Date of publication: January 2007
Description/subject: Conclusion: "Massive migration of Burmese workers into Thailand affects both countries. On one hand, it depletes the availability of skilled workers in Burma, which is a clear loss for a developing country, while on the other hand, Thailand benefits from such a reservoir of cheap manpower. Burma receives the monthly remittances of its expatriate workers, but Thai entrepreneurs capitalise on the value added to their export-oriented productions by the work of the Burmese migrants. Each country is aware of the size of the phenomenon and its impact on their economy, but each reacts differently. The Myanmar junta chooses to ignore the huge emigration taking place, because it reduces the potential of social, if not political, demands building up within society. The Thai government plays down the boost given to its economy by the widespread use of cheap Burmese workers by its industries, and prefers to play up the supposed or real social disorders said to be brought by Burmese immigrants: increase of diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis industrial zones in burma 181 and HIV; the drain on hospital resources to care for sick Burmese;45 the expansion of prostitution; and murders and thefts. The dual attitude of the Thai authorities is politically useful to hide their own social and health shortcomings from their own population. The contribution of migrants to the Thai economy is still unrecognised officially, although a ‘new vision’ towards migrants is beginning to appear in government circles, probably out of necessity and to be in accordance with the Economic Cooperation Strategy illustrated by the launch of the first economic and industrial zone in Myawaddy-Mae Sot. For their part, Burmese authorities, until now ignoring the plight of their expatriate workers, recently realised the potential political benefits of monitoring such a huge workforce in Thailand."
Author/creator: Guy Lubeigt
Language: English
Source/publisher: 2006 Burma Update Conference via Australian National University
Format/size: pdf (760K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs4/BU-2006-Lubeigt.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 December 2008