I am back from Khon Kaen where I was invited to give a keynote talk at the Roundtable Meeting for MINZAS 2013 – that’s the Mekong Institute New Zealand Ambassador’s Scholarship scheme, which provides sponsorship for 12 GMS researchers currently taking a master’s level degree.
Uneven development caused by geographic and political factors has become intensified by the deployment of transport infrastructure and other forms of connectivity in the Mekong region. Places of production are increasingly being linked with places of consumption and distribution routes via both physical and virtual connections. To some extent, the issue of uneven development can be controlled by the judicious use of public and private sector interventions. For example, small and medium-sized enterprises can act as connectors between special economic zones (SEZs) and local economies, while migrant workers help to redistribute some of the proceeds of production and trade to less developed parts of the region. This paper investigates the different types of connectivity in operation in the Mekong region and how they act through a series of case studies of SEZs in various countries.
For more details of MINZAS: http://mekonginstitute.org/opportunities/minzas-scholarship.html.