The Mekong subregion is witnessing a “development bazaar” where there is no outright hegemonic development grand plan but a variety of options offered by ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners (DPs) for ASEAN riparian states to choose from. Against this backdrop, this policy report assesses key DPs’ policies and their implications for the subregion as well as provides policy recommendations for Southeast Asian governments to respond to the current dynamics. This paper contends that ASEAN officials should: (i) raise the awareness of ASEAN maritime members about the significance of the Mekong subregion to Southeast Asia; (ii) collectively coin ASEAN’s Mekong policies, (iii) engage the DPs via the existing regional and subregional initiatives, and (iv) incorporate Track II’s recommendations into policymaking process.
About the Author
Dr Kaewkamol Pitakdumrongkit is a Deputy Head and Assistant Professor at the Centre for Multilateralism Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She completed her MA and PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A. Her research interests include international economic negotiation, Southeast Asian and East Asian economic governance (focusing on trade, money and finance), regional-global economic governance dynamics, the ASEAN Economic Community, and cooperation between ASEAN and dialogue partners (ASEAN-Plus frameworks). She has published in various outlets such as The Singapore Economic Review, The International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, The Pacific Review, Australian Outlook, The Diplomat, Eurasia Review and East Asia Forum. Her media interviews include Bangkok Post, Bloomberg, Business Times, Channel News Asia, CNBC Asia-Pacific, New Straits Times, The Strait Times, South China Morning Post, and Xinhua. Besides publications and media engagement, Dr. Karen organized several capacity-building programmes such as the Annual RSIS-World Trade Organization (WTO) Parliamentarian Workshops in Singapore, and In-Country Workshops on Technical Trade Issues which are tailored to the specific needs of the trade officials in Asian countries. She was also part of the team involved in composing the elements of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025. In addition, Dr. Karen teaches courses on International Economics for International Political Economy, and the Political Economy of Southeast Asia at the RSIS MSc International Political Economy programme, and occasionally provides briefings to international diplomats and military students at Singapore’s Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College.
International Political Economy / Policy Reports / Regionalism and Multilateralism / Southeast Asia and ASEAN
Last updated on 14/03/2019