Some Chinese astrologers have pronounced that 2012, the year of the dragon, will be particularly volatile. But you don’t have to believe in the Chinese zodiac to know that Southeast Asia is likely to have a tumultuous year. Four potentially important trends and events could cast a cloud over the subregion—and there may be one particularly glittery silver lining.
1 Myanmar is excluded because consistent national accounts are not available. The CIA World Factbook had the economy growing at 5.3 percent in 2010.
3 Pakatan subsequently lost one – Perak – following the defection of three Pakatan legislators and sparking a constitutional crisis.
4 Not only is King Bhumibol the world’s longest serving monarch, he is also its wealthiest. See Forbes’ assessment (January 20, 2012): http://www.forbes.com/sites/simonmontlake/2012/01/20/in-thailand-a-rare-peek-at-his-majestys-balance-sheet/
5 Under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Seas, the exclusive economic zone is the 200-mile limit from the coast over which the coastal state has exclusive environmental and economic rights.
6 To receive funds from international financial institutions such as the World Bank and ADB, an arrangement will be needed to pay down Myanmar’s arrears to these institutions.