The New Political Economy of Southeast Asia
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The New Political Economy of Southeast Asia

Edited by Rajah Rasiah and Johannes Dragsbaek Schmidt

This well-researched book examines the dramatic transformation of Southeast Asian countries from agricultural and mining economies to industrial nations.
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Chapter 6: Urban and Industrial Environmental Reform in Southeast Asia

David A. Sonnenfeld and Arthur P.J. Mol


David A. Sonnenfeld and Arthur P.J. Mol INTRODUCTION A majority of countries in Southeast Asia have been developing rapidly for several decades. With some notable exceptions,1 Southeast Asia remains one of the high economic growth regions in the world. While economic development has been strong, growth patterns have differed significantly in the five countries studied in this chapter: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Notwithstanding periodic ups and downs, including during the Asian financial crisis of 1997, all countries enjoyed sustained economic growth over several decades (see Figure 6.1). A wide range of growth histories and present performance are represented within these five countries: from Singapore, one of the most developed economies in the world, with a high level of industrialization and a large service sector, to Vietnam, which has only recently – but rapidly – begun to make the transition of its agriculturally based economy towards the industrial and service sectors (see Figure 6.2). Taken together, the five countries represent the diversity of growth and development in Southeast Asia. Economic development has been paralleled by integration of individual countries into the Southeast Asian region, manifested by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), and the world economy. Increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows (and recently also outflows), growth in international trade, and increased regional and international political cooperation give evidence of that. In these respects, industrializing parts of Southeast Asia have been drawn increasingly into processes of globalization.2 Historically around the world, increased...

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