Socio-economic Development in Southeast Asia

Jun 21st, 2015
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Thailand has adopted an open economic system since the early 1960s, whereas the neighboring countries to the north and east adopted a much more ‘closed’ economic system in the 1960s and 1970s. Open foreign investment in Thailand resulted in rapid industrialization and urbanization.

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Socio-economic Development in Southeast Asia:A Case Study of the Marginality of Burmese Labourers in the Chang Klan Community in Chiang Mai.1Samak Kosem20 June 2008IntroductionThailand has adopted an open economic system since the early 1960s, whereas the neighboring countries to the north and east adopted a much more closed economic system in the 1960s and 1970s. Open foreign investment in Thailand resulted in rapid industrialization and urbanization. Not only Bangkok, but many regional towns, such as Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in the north, have benefited from economic development, especially within tourism and construction. On the other hand, a neighboring country, Burma, in the same period, had adopted a rather careful policy towards foreign investment. Hence, economic expansion in Burma did not take place as fast as what happened in Thailand. This unequal economic development has resulted in a number of workers from Burma crossing the border to come to seek employment in Thailand. It has been estimated that the number of Burmese workers in all parts of Thailand could be nearly one million.In the following paper, I used an anthropological method of observation and informal interviews to talk to a number of Burmese Muslim workers working in Chiang Mai to find out about their livelihood and problems with adjustment and the exclusion of these migrant workers in a foreign environment.The Issue: Muslim BurmeseMuslims are a minority group in Buddhist Burm

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