In Vietnam, the “Land for Infrastructure” policy attracts private investment into public infrastructure by promising land for private investment. At the Ecopark project near Hanoi, whilst the project’s developer has profited handsomely, farmers’ land was taken with inadequate compensation leaving them with few prospects for the future.
Lao PDR is aiming high by promoting casinos mainly with Chinese investors. But these monumental structures are endangering local livelihoods, dispossessing farmers of land and inviting armed crime into previously quiet rural areas. Melinda Boh explores these dubious investments taken in the name of rural development and reducing poverty.
While opening up to greater democracy, Myanmar is entering a period of neoliberal market reforms and privatization of its natural resources. Newly drafted “land concession” legislation favor agribusiness, and land grabs result from continued government reliance on top-down authoritarian approaches to development.