Cashing In across the Golden Triangle by Thein Swe and Paul Chambers
Thailand’s Northern Border Trade with China, Laos, and Myanmar
Historically, the Golden Triangle on the Mekong River has been a strategic yet largely impoverished crossroads between Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and southern China. In the latter half of the twentieth century, it was known as one of the world’s key opium-producing regions. The new transnational “economic corridors” connecting northern Thailand and southwestern China via key border towns in Myanmar and Laos have greatly increased the volume of trade and transshipment in the region. Logistical improvements via the highways and ports have transformed entire towns and districts in Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand, bringing with them an influx of Chinese investment and tourism, and other population movements.
The transformation of the economy of the Golden Triangle is ongoing and relatively uncharted. There is evidence of unequal benefits to the countries involved. To what extent has border commerce grown since 1990? What facilitates or hinders this trade? What are the social and environmental costs of the changing economy? By combining available official data and observations and interviews with a wide range of participants in this new border economy, this book provides an important and unique perspective on the impact of the new economic linkages in the region.
What others are saying
“The corner of the region known as the Golden Triangle remains bound to well-worn images of lawless Cold War - era drug trafficking, rather than evoking images of the complex and varied lives of the region’s inhabitants today. This timely and detailed study provides an important corrective to static and dated images of Northern Thailand, Burma, and Laos. Like other places in the world, the Golden Triangle is in the process of being deeply transformed, and Cashing In ably tracks many of these changes.” - Jim Glassman, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, author of Bounding the Mekong
Chiang Mai 2011
Size 140 x 210 mm