The reform process and the subsequent political and economic changes in Burma/Myanmar have sparked great investment interest among governments and the private sector in the region and beyond.
Large-scale investment projects are focused on the borderlands, which is where most of the natural resources in Burma – and indeed the Mekong region – are to be found. These areas are home to poor and often persecuted ethnic minority groups. Burma’s borderlands are where regional cross-border infrastructure and millennium-old trade networks converge and are some of the last remaining resource-rich areas in Asia. They also include the most isolated and impoverished areas in Burma and in the region, and have seen decades of civil war. The war-torn borderlands are now in the international spotlight as Asia’s last frontier.