News

Southeast Asia remains world rice bowl as pockets of region suffer crop disasters

Rice crops in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar have taken a hit from flooding and conflict this year, casting a shadow on a mostly sunny outlook for Southeast Asia’s output of the key grain as the region deals with other potential longer term supply troubles, farm ...

RFA Burmese, RFA Khmer and RFA Lao

The cost of Laos’ quest to be Southeast Asia’s ‘battery’, and the World Heritage town at risk

With electricity exports to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia and even Singapore, Laos has arguably realised its ambition to be the battery of Southeast Asia. The bulk of these exports are from hydropower. Nearly 80 dams dot the landlocked country, and more along the Mekong River are in ...

Lee Li Wan

Climate change and dams force older residents to leave Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

At 63, Nguyen Thi Ngoc got her first full-time ‘company’ job as a security guard in Ho Chi Minh City. She’d never been to a city before taking the job in early 2021, but the former farmer, originally from the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam, ...

Nhung Nguyen

ASEAN Foreign Ministers Urge More Progress in Myanmar Crisis

Southeast Asian foreign ministers acknowledged Thursday that their efforts to bring peace to Myanmar haven’t succeeded and agreed to increase their determination to end violence in the country, where a military takeover last year set off a crisis that threatens to destabilize the region. Recent events ...

Niniek Karmini and Grant Peck

Southeast Asia’s Data Localization Push is a Double-Edged Sword

With the publication of the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 (ADM 2025), member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have endeavored to promote the digitalization of the region. In this digital transformation process, data is essential because every interaction in the digital world produces and relies on ...

Xirui Li

Why LGBT Rights Trump Environmentalism in Vietnam

Since its adoption of a market economy in the last 1980s, Vietnam has become what some have referred to as a new “Asian Tiger.” Over the last 25 years, Vietnam’s economy has enjoyed an average annual growth rate of more than 6 percent. Between 1994 and 2014, ...

Collapse in minerals exports robs junta of key revenue

The closure of Myanmar’s biggest mines due to the post-coup conflict has contributed to an 80 percent plummet in export earnings from the sector over the last two years. Monthly earnings from Myanmar’s mining exports have shrunk from more than US$150 million to only $30 million ...

FRONTIER

Thailand Sets Long-Awaited Rules for Vetting Asylum Seekers

Rights groups say the long-awaited rules Thailand’s government approved this month for screening foreigners seeking refuge from persecution in their home countries are likely to leave many worthy applicants in the lurch. The United Nations refugee agency says Thailand currently hosts about 5,000 “urban refugees and ...

Zsombor Peter

UN Warns of Growing Criminal Threat from Mekong Region Casinos, SEZs

The unchecked growth of freewheeling business enclaves and casinos in and around Laos is opening new money laundering and drug trafficking options for crime networks using the country to push spiraling volumes of narcotics across Asia, the United Nations warns. As China and Thailand tighten their ...

Zsombor Peter

Mekong Delta highly likely to face large-scale petroleum supply disruption

In recent days, many petrol filling stations in the Mekong Delta region have closed and stopped selling, partly because of losses, and partly because of supply shortages, leading to the prospect of large-scale disruptions in the region. Along the Nam Song Hau route from the Mekong Delta City ...

staff writers – Translated by Anh Quan

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