The Mekong River Basic Development: The Realities and Prospects of Korea’s Participation

Jae Wan Cheong
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At this time, a move resumed to develop the basin of the Mekong River, the largest river in Southeast Asia and a lifetime in the region, following suspension of such a movement in the 1950s. Activities to develop the Mekong River Basin have resumed from the first half of the 1990s, as the area stabilized politically through the end of the Cambodian civil war, the open policies of Myanmar and Laos, the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the Peoples Republic of China, and the gradual incorporation of the region into the worldwide economy. In recent years, much of the support for the Mekong River Basin Development has been undertaken under the auspices of the ADB (Asian Development Bank).
The Mekong River Basin Development suffered a setback following the financial crisis in East Asia that began in July 1997. Recently, however, as the economies in the region overcame the financial difficulties and showed signs of recovery, the efforts to develop the Basin have become active again. With all the nations in the region joining ASEAN except for China, the region has become even more important and is expected to witness accelerated economic development backed up by repercussions of economic growth.
It is in this context that this paper takes a look at the current situation.