The Mekong Dimension of South Korea’s New Southern Policy with ASEAN

The Mekong Dimension of South Korea’s New Southern Policy with ASEAN

Last week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in embarked on a pre-scheduled tour of three mainland Southeast Asian states. The trip put the spotlight on the Southeast Asia component of the Moon administration’s ‘New Southern Policy,’ and more specifically on its efforts to boost engagement in the Mekong subregion – a shorthand for the area in mainland Southeast Asia through which the Mekong River, one of the world’s longest and largest…

Are Laos’ Land-Linking Dreams a Risky Bet?

Are Laos’ Land-Linking Dreams a Risky Bet?

The Lao government is strongly pushing ahead with different projects to better connect the country to the main transport networks of the region and integrate it into global value chains. Laos’ landlocked position and natural topography has historically led to its isolation and been a serious obstacle for development. During the French period, the colonial authorities developed plans to “unblock” Laos’ economic potential by building a network of all-weather roads…