MINZAS Roundtable Meeting

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.

IMG_0393I spoke on the topic “The Asian Highway Network, Special Economic Zones and Connectivity in the Mekong Region.” I thought it went well. Here is the abstract:

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.

Entrepreneurship in the Mekong Region: Yunnan Province

Yunnan Province is the most southerly part of China and the area most closely linked to the remainder of the Mekong Region for historical, ethnic and cultural reasons. It is a diverse area, ranging from the foothills of the Tibetan plateau in the northwest where the Himalayas provide the origins of the great rivers that water the region. The central area is a plain where the cities of Dali, Chuxiong and the capital Kunming (the ‘Spring City’) may be found.

Read the full article here.

Entrepreneurship in the Mekong Region: Distribution Issues

As previous articles have shown, there is a great deal of diversity in the Mekong Region as exemplified in different levels of and uneven development. From an entrepreneurial perspective, this has two principal effects: the first is that markets are already pre-segmented into ethnicities, classes and so forth in ways which limit the size of the markets and inhibit the use of economy of scale but are at least internally homogeneous to quite a good extent

Read the full article here.