Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

5 - Thailand-Myanmar Frontier Economic Development and Ethnic Security

Saturday, July 7
10:20 AM - 11:50 AM
Location: Chinar, First Floor

Thailand-Myanmar frontier has been a war zone between ethnic armed groups and Burmese army for almost 70 years. This protractedness has caused countless injuries, deaths, handicaps, displacements, and refugees. However, after the cold war and under the context of economic regionalization in the last two decades, the frontier rich in natural resources and cheap labors has gradually opened for various economic exploitations. The area has become industrialized and commercialized with the support of Thailand and Myanmar state and under the regional scheme of East-West Corridor supported by China and other powerful states. Under this changing context, the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement initiated by the Myanmar government and signed by major armed groups has led to more opportunities for economic development. But what will the peace process and economic development lead to? This paper would argue that ethnic security in the frontier is still questionable. First, bigger-armed groups which control more territory may benefit from economic investments. But those smaller ones which cannot get a fair share of benefit from economic investments, may be resentful and get back to the armed struggle. Second, although Thailand and Myanmar states have talked about the resettlement of the refugees, there has not yet been any action plan. Third, land grabbing for economic investment and the exploitation of nature can impact the daily lives of people who rely on natural resources. The paper argues that economic development at the borderland may lead to more conflict and violence arising from the exploitation of human and natural resources.

Kwanchewan Buadaeng

Chiang Mai University, Thailand


Send Email for Kwanchewan Buadaeng


5 - Thailand-Myanmar Frontier Economic Development and Ethnic Security

Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Thailand-Myanmar Frontier Economic Development and Ethnic Security