SEZs and Value Extraction from the Mekong

Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have been built worldwide since the 1960s to facilitate global free trade and integrate developing countries into global production and distribution networks, and have been mushrooming in Southeast Asia in recent years. They remain controversial, and are attracting growing interest from policy makers, investors, civil society, and the general public. Supporters praise them for spurring foreign investment, creating jobs, building infrastructure, and helping host countries to diversify their economies; critics argue that they entail more costs than benefits, negatively impact local communities, undermine workers’ rights, and cause environmental harm and degradation. Asking why, and to what end, SEZs are being developed in the Mekong, this study develops two case studies of special economic zones in Cambodia and Myanmar, of the incentives and assurances offered to investors weighed against the protection and benefits to local communities, workers, and the environment.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Case studies
Language of document
  • English
  • Burmese
Topics Special economic zones
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • Cambodia
  • Myanmar
Copyright Unclear copyright
Access and use constraints

No known access and use constraints. However, Except where otherwise noted, content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Version / Edition n/a
License Creative Commons Attribution
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Author (individual) Charlie Thame
Author (corporate) Focus on the Global South
Publication place Bangkok, Thailand
Publisher Focus on the Global South
Publication date 2017
Keywords sez
Date uploaded June 24, 2019, 08:36 (UTC)
Date modified October 30, 2019, 13:28 (UTC)