Education About Asia: Online Archives

Developing the Mekong Subregion

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Edited by Bob Stensholt
CLAYTON, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: MONASH ASIA INSTITUTE, 1997 XVI + 287 PAGES

Nearly three decades after the Khmer Rouge retreated from Phnom Penh and the U.S. military withdrew from Laos and Vietnam, the six countries of the greater Mekong subregion (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma or Myanmar, and China’s southern Yunnan Province) now collectively represent one of the world’s fastest growing regional economies. While the current global economic crisis has severely disrupted political and economic stability throughout Asia, their sustained growth and social harmony—despite considerable religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity—maintain optimism in the subregion. With aims of pinpointing key opportunities and sectors in each country, and encouraging further private sector investment, Australia hosted a series of workshops in 1996 on the Greater Mekong Subregion. An area of great cultural heritage and containing some of the most biologically diverse sites in the world, the region confronts an increasing population and limited resources, antiquated land tenure and telecommunications systems, health epidemics, conflicting gender roles, and ethnic warfare.

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