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Economic Patterns and Performance of Indochina Nations

Abstract

The paper presents a multidimensional analysis of the economic development of four Indochina countries – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) as part of ASEAN. The scientific relevance of this topic proceeds from both its actuality and insufficient knowledge about it in Russia. Main trends of the analyzed processes are under consideration in four sections. First, the author reveals the indicators, causes, challenges and consequences of the rapid economic growth of the CLMV group. In particular, this section reveals energy vulnerability of the Southeast Asian countries and possible ways of overcoming it. The second section presents the formats of integration in the region, the difference of benefits for ASEAN members and greater advantages of the Indochina countries. Special attention is paid to deepening cooperation between the latter. The third section presents several examples of the economic impact of major powers in the region – China, the USA and Japan – on the SEA countries in general and the ASEAN-4 in particular from the perspective of the parties’ interests. The author puts forward a thesis that China advances economic initiatives aiming to undermine the US dominance in the region, while Japan expands its position in Indochina. The level of economic and trade relations of these countries with ASEAN is estimated too. In addition, the author analyses relations in this realm between the ASEAN-4 and the Russian Federation. The fourth section displays the priority sectors of the Russian capital input (energy, mining, agricultural production, services) and tools for investment cooperation, and discloses the dynamics, balance and structure of mutual trade. A significant lag of Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar in comparison with Vietnam as partners of Russia is identified. In a nutshell, this section summarizes peculiarities of trade and economic relations, and formulates positive factors and obstacles influencing the development of Russia's cooperation with the CLMV group, especially with the less developed Indochina countries. The author concludes that the ASEAN-4 economies, due to their membership in the Association and further integration into regional structures, have found relevant patterns, methods, and formats of development according to their interests. They selected the larger East Asian states, the US and the EU as key partners and guarantors of their own progress. Nevertheless, the Indochina countries seek to expand cooperation with Russia. The Russian Federation is also trying to strengthen relations with its former allies, but this is difficult to achieve because of the limited capacity of the parties. Due to these reasons, Russia's cooperation with the "Quartet" of Indochina countries lags well behind the level achieved by the main competitors.

Keywords:

trade and investment; regional integration; Economic Community; economic growth; ASEAN; Indochina; Russia; China; USA; Japan.


Authors: Vladimir Mazyrin

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