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SEZs in the Greater Mekong Sub-region: A Win-Win Solution?

23 June, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

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. They have been mushrooming across Southeast Asia in recent years 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 they entail more costs than benefits, negatively impact local communities, undermine workers’ rights, and cause environmental harm and degradation. 

A recent report published by Focus on the Global South develops case studies of Cambodia and Myanmar’s SEZs based on field research and interviews with villagers and workers, asking why, to what end, and in whose interests SEZs are being developed across the Mekong. Inspired by the report, the SEA Junction panel on 23 June at 6 PM will examine incentives and assurances offered to investors weighed against protections and benefits offered to local communities, workers, and the environment. Some of the political, economic, and social implications for the region will be discussed. The program for the panel is as follows:

Panel Discussion
23 June at 5.30 PM – 7 PM


Introduction to the panel

Rosalia Sciortino, Director SEA Junction & Assoc. Professor, IPSR, Mahidol University

Topic & Panelists:

Investments in the Greater Mekong Sub-region

Shalmali Guttal, Executive Director, Focus on the Global South

Presentation of major findings of the report ““SEZs and Value Extraction from the Mekong: A Case Study on the Control and Exploitation of Land and Labour in Cambodia and Myanmar’s Special Economic Zones”
Charlie Thame, Lecturer, International Relations, Thammasat University

SEZ in Thailand and their socio-economic and environmental impacts
Penchom Saetang, Editorial Director, EARTH Thailand

Download link for the report: https://focusweb.org/content/sezs-and-value-extraction-mekong-case-study-control-and-exploitation-land-and-labour

For information/reservation for our events please email southeastasiajunction@gmail.com or phone/wa: +66970024140

NB: Events are free, but donation most welcome!


SEA Junction, OUR Venue on Southeast Asia 

SEA Junction aims to foster understanding and appreciation of Southeast Asia in all its socio-cultural dimensions –from arts and lifestyles to economy and development. Conveniently located at Room 408 of the Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre or BACC (across MBK, BTS National Stadium) SEA junction facilitates public access to knowledge resources and exchanges among students, practitioners and Southeast Asia lovers. For more information see www.seajunction.org and join the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1693055870976440/


23 June, 2018
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


SEA Junction, Room 408, BACC
939 Rama 1 Rd, Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330 Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand
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