Cashing in Across the Golden Triangle: Thailand’s Northern Border Trade with China, Laos, and Myanmar
Historically, the Golden Triangle on the Mekong River has been a strategic yet largely impoverished crossroads between Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and southern China. In the latter half of the twentieth century, it was known as one of the world’s key opium-producing regions. The new transnational “economic corridors” connecting northern Thailand and southwestern China via key border towns in Myanmar and Laos have greatly increased the volume of trade and transshipment in the region. Logistical improvements via the highways and ports have transformed entire towns and districts in Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand, bringing with them an influx of Chinese investment and tourism, and other population movements.
The transformation of the economy of the Golden Triangle is ongoing and relatively uncharted. There is evidence of unequal benefits to the countries involved. To what extent has border commerce grown since 1990? What facilitates or hinders this trade? What are the social and environmental costs of the changing economy? By combining available official data and observations and interviews with a wide range of participants in this new border economy, this book provides an important and unique perspective on the impact of the new economic linkages in the region.
About the Author(s)
teaches economics, finance, and globalization studies at Payap University in the International MBA program and South East Asian Institute of Global Studies. He has served as Alternate Executive Director of the World Bank (1977–1979); Deputy Head of Mission, Vietnam; and Principal Portfolio Specialist at the Asian Development Bank (1990–2003). is Research Director at the South East Asian Institute of Global Studies at Payap University. From 2008 to 2011, he was Senior Researcher at Heidelberg University. His articles have appeared in Contemporary Southeast Asia, the Journal of East Asian Studies, and the Asian Journal of Political Science.