The Dawei SEZ in Myanmar, set to be Southeast Asia’s largest industrial zone, is progressing once again despite years of instability and uncertainty. The pandemic also makes it nearly impossible for developers and the government to meet with local residents to answer basic questions about the impacts and benefits of the project.
Given Thailand’s dire economic outlook wrought by COVID-19, fewer opportunities could lead to an increase in precarious and underpaid work.
The recent Amnesty International report about the Myanmar military’s alleged war crimes highlights the country’s civil-military imbalance and the significant impact it will have on the country’s general election.
The current spotlight on Burmese corruption is welcome, but instability in the country’s border regions makes it difficult to make headway on reducing money laundering.
Governments along the Salween River are pushing a series of hydropower dams across the river basin but offering little information on the status of the projects or their social and environmental impacts.
Mobile money has been touted as the panacea towards achieving financial inclusion in emerging markets like Myanmar. But is it entrenching a gender gap among those accessing financial services?
China’s inroads in Myanmar through its Belt and Road Initiative are forcing India to rethink its connectivity with Southeast Asia.
The Myanmar government created divisions between ethnic armed groups, preventing effective dialogue and perpetuating conflict. Unless the government can earn the trust of ethnic groups, peace talks will continue to stall.
ASEAN’s commitment to decision-making by consensus and non-interference in the internal affairs of member states severely restricts its ability to play an effective and pro-active role in the Rohingya crisis.
Renewed violence between ethnic armed groups and the Myanmar military in Shan State has thrown joint China-Myanmar development plans into question. Relying on China to broker peace seems an increasingly risky gamble.