Economic Dimensions of New Power Dynamics in Southeast Asia
Trends in Aid, Trade, and Infrastructure
At a July 2007 dialogue on aid, trade, investment, and economic dynamics in the Asia-Pacific arena, the Stanley Foundation convened a weeklong series of meetings in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to consider the means by which the United States and the international community can best encourage the process of structural change that is under way in Southeast Asia, and the recalibration of policy to promote development of a peaceful and stable region that contributes to global growth.

Participants in the dialogue examined three important aspects of the development agenda in contemporary Southeast Asia: (1) the efficacy of official development aid, (2) trade and investment trends in the region, and (3) the increasing importance of infrastructure development in Southeast Asia and the implications for new power dynamics and competition.

Among other findings, participants concluded that while traditional US development assistance to Southeast Asia is declining, it is imperative that the United States and multilateral donors continue to participate in the evolution of development policy in the region; develop alternative economic and trade enhancement strategies in Southeast Asia; support regional reforms in education, infrastructure, and other areas that can enhance its competitiveness in the face of new and powerful players; and seek to explore cooperative fora for partnership with China on ways in which Chinese investments in infrastructure development can be channeled to impact needed improvements.

This page is part of Rising Powers: The New Global Reality, a project from the Stanley Foundation.