Boom or bust

It’s boom or bust for many communities in Southeast Asia today.

Julija Veljkovic
January 24, 2020
Boom or bust

This week we looked at how Sihanoukville’s residents are picking up the pieces left behind by Chinese investors and casino-driven tourism, how the Vietnamese city of Hai Phong is transforming into a modern economic hub leading Vietnam’s foreign direct investment drive, the trials and tribulations of Kun Khmer fighters, and more.

Sihanoukville, once a hot-bed for gambling and foreign investment, is now on the brink of collapse, leaving the city’s residents to pick up the pieces.

“The challenge is on to put the pieces of [Sihanoukville] back together, both to ease local pain and to save face for the upcoming #ASEANSummit, set to be held in the city in late 2022.”

The city of Hai Phong is leading the north’s charge in Vietnam’s foreign direct investment growth. Deep C is one firm that has helped radically transform the industrial port city in recent years with their vision of creating a sustainable, environmentally friendly economic hub.

In the eighth and final instalment of Southeast Asia Globe’s collaboration with Future Forum on the Cambodia 2040 project, we sit down with the think-tank’s founder Ou Virak to hear his reflections on the series. In the decades to come, does he believe that the Kingdom will successfully address the pressing issues raised?

“It took me more than a year to get back to training. I paid for the medical expense with my own money, there was no support from anywhere else,” Chamreoun says. 

Without a contract or health insurance, Chamreoun’s injury almost cost him his career, as well as placed him in a crippling financial bind. What motivates Kun Khmer fighters to put their bodies on the lines?

Thailand’s decades-old conflict between government forces and separatist insurgents in the deep south is still in full swing, with civilians often getting caught in the crossfire. We return to a timeless Top Read from 2007, looking at how local teachers have had to deal with bloody violence on their doorstep while fulfilling their civic duty.

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