Under: Mekong Region, Publications, Trade and Investment

Complete title: 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

This is the Burmese language version of our case study report on 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. The study concludes that the legislative and governance structures covering the development and operation of SEZs have been skewed toward the interests of investors and against those of locals and the environment. It contends that SEZs have been used as tools enabling investors to capture and exploit Cambodia and Myanmar’s most productive assets, their land and labour, and are facilitating the financial extraction of value from the Mekong. It also suggests that weaknesses in SEZ governance structures, and the lack of transparency and accountability in the development and administration of the zones, are heightening the risk of capture of the state by political and economic elites: whereby public power may be exercised for private gain, and preferential treatment for certain individuals or firms is woven into the institutional framework of a state.


Download Khmer version here.

Download English version here.