MAE SOT, Thailand - "The conflict-ridden Thai-Myanmar border has long been associated with drug smuggling, arms-dealing and human trafficking and other illicit trades. Now a new investment initiative aims to bring bilateral border trade above ground through the establishment of export-oriented special economic zones (SEZs) in the two countries' hinterlands.
The two sides agreed last month in Mandalay to finalize a long pending agreement, which in the first phases will open the way for
Thai agribusinesses to cultivate millions of acres of land tax-free in Myanmar's border areas. The ambitious plan to turn battlefields into marketplaces has the tacit backing of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), but at the same time has come under heavy criticism from rights organizations...
Authors and Publishers
Asia Times is a Hong Kong-based English-language news website covering politics, economics, business and culture "from an Asian perspective". It is now known as "Asia Times" or "AT", and has dropped the "Online" part of its name. The website is a direct descendant of the Bangkok-based print newspaper that was launched in 1995 and closed in mid-1997.
Asia Times Online was created early in 1999 as a successor in "publication policy and editorial outlook" to the print newspaper Asia Times.
The Online Burma/Myanmar Library (OBL) is a non-profit online research library mainly in English and Burmese serving academics, activists, diplomats, NGOs, CSOs, CBOs and other Burmese and international actors. It is also, of course, open to the general public.