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An attentive reading of these inscriptions suggests that this modification of the central sanctuary at Angkor Vat took place at the end of the 16th century, during the particular political and religious context I have been describing here. Stylistically, the reliefs sculpted onto the stone entrances of the central sanctuary can be roughly dated to this time. Together, these texts tell us that particular attention was paid to the restoration of the sanctuary summit. Relics were deposited. Maitreya was invoked. What transpired at the uppermost level of Angkor Vat sometime around 1580 seems in fact to have been typical of a number of important political-religious events in which the recurrent theme of the four Buddhas emerged in middle Cambodia: an ancient Brahmanic or Mahayanic sanctuary was transformed into a Buddhist stupa, which was itself surrounded by 4 Buddhas. The stupa itself, a funerary monument of course, but also a place of gestation, was seen, I believe, to signal the fifth Buddha to come: Maitreya.

The inscription concerning the offerings and vows made by the King himself is particularly enlightening. The names used in this inscription do not correspond to those found in the Cambodian Royal Chronicles, which are themain source for reconstructing Cambodian royal history during the middle period. However, this text is dated 1579, just after this King Ang Chans grandson had risen to power, and there is compelling evidence to suppose that the king referred to in the inscription and Ang Chans grandson were one and the same person.

As the Chronicles illustrate repeatedly, the initial duty of a new king is to render homage to his ancestors, in particular to the preceding king: the son inaugurates his reign in laying his fathers remains to rest. The 1579 inscription reveals the importance of this gesture as a perpetuation of the royal line and of the Buddhist religion, both seen as essential to the preservation of the kingdoms stability. Veneration of the ancestors itself propagates Buddhism. And, in this context, burial of the past serves to ensure rebirth in the future. Closed off to the mundane world as its four entries were walled in and sculpted, the central sanctuary of Angkor Vat may well have served as a stupa for the father of the newly coronated king.

The four past Buddhas are in fact associated with the royal ancestors in the text. It tells us that in depositing relics (or building a reliquary), the monarch transferred merits to satec bra j ta pn bra ag While we can read this expression as literally designating four ancestors, satec bra j ta pn bra ag can simultaneously designate four Buddhas. This 16thcentury linguistic ambivalence is corroborated by modern ritual practice at the temple itself in which the four Buddha images sculpted into the entranceways of Angkor Vats central sanctuary are associated with sacred ancestors. Each of the four images is also worshipped as one of the four past Buddhas. Any of the numerous local caretakers of this central sanctuary will readily identify these religious ancestors by name: Kuk Sandho, Neak Gamano, Kassapo, Samana Gotam.15 The western16 image is also known as Preah Buddh Preah Bida (bra buddh bra pt), Ashley Thompson August Buddha, August Father (the bra varapitdhirj of the inscription?); the southern is Preah Buddh Preah Meada (bra buddh bra mt), August Buddha, August Mother. Why?

Because, I have been told, those Buddhas contain the dhtu, that is the relics or the essence, of the father and the mother.

This cult may well explain the abundance of a particular kind of miniature monument with four sides sculpted with four Buddhas and most frequently found at post-Angkorian religious sites (Figure 3). There are a number of them displayed at Preah Pean today. These are called sthp, another form of stupa. Perhaps one of the Preah Pean sthp is the four-faced tower with stone and metal Buddhas symbolizing Angkor Vat which our dignitary Abhayaraja offered to the temple in the 16th century? And perhaps these sthp are a cultural memory that bears witness to the original meaning of the middle-period transformation of Angkor Vats central sanctuary This middle period transformation may well explain other contemporary cults at Angkor Vat. A statue thought to represent Vishnu, located today in one of the gopuras of the 3rd enclosures western entrance is well known throughout the Angkor area, and even beyond. Venerated as a guardian spirit of the temple, this statue is called Ta Reac Royal Ancestor (Figure 4).

Though we have no proof of this hypothesis, it seems quite possible that it may have been Angkor Vats central image which was transferred to a marginal position within the temple when the central sanctuary was closed off as a stupa.

I have only touched here on the evidence we have to understand the early Khmer Theravadin complex at Angkor Vat. There are in fact more than 40 vows of truth dating from the 16th-18th centuries on the temples walls and pillars. Let me just mention one more of these texts.

On the third gallerys eastern wall we find the first Cambodian inscription ever to be written in Khmer verse (Figure 5). This early 18th-century poem was composed by a court dignitary in commemoration of his deceased wife and sons.17 The remains of his loved ones may in fact be encased in a small stupa standing on the third enclosure terrace, facing the inscription itself (Figures 6 and 7). There is an interesting contemporary cult of this stupa. Once a year members of a family from the nearby town of Siem Reap come to Angkor Vat to render homage to the stupa; they say they have inherited this obligation from their ancestors, who inherited it from their ancestors, etc. With this, we have a specific example of the perpetuation of pilgrimage to Angkor manifest through a private stupa cult enhanced, as it were, by its place in the shadow of the 12th-century temple/16th-century stupa.

Many more Buddhist foundations were made at Angkor over the course of this period. I will quickly mention a few to simply indicate the extent of the Theravadin presence in the area around the time of the transfer of the capital to Cambodias southerly regions.

Prasat Top, southwestern quadrant of Angkor Thom. This temple, originally constructed in the 10th 11th centuries, was transformed into a Theravadin pagoda over the course of the 13 17th centuries (Figures 8 and 9).

Phnom Bakheng, outside the southern gate of Angkor Thom. The five sanctuaries of the upper terrace of this late 9th-century Shivaite temple were dismantled and rebuilt as a colossal seated Buddha around the 16th century (Figure 10).

Ta Tuot, northeastern quadrant of Angkor Thom. Late (16th c.?) Buddhist friezes decorate the interior of this 12th-century sanctuary, which remains a favored site of meditation for religious and lay-people in the Siem Reap region (Figures 11 and 12).

Vat Adhvea, south of Siem Reap town. Numerous Theravadin Buddhist inscriptions were engraved inside this 12th-century temple in the middle period (Figure 13).

Buddhist terraces. Stone platforms which once supported wooden vihra (Buddhist worship halls) dot the Angkor region. This Buddhist terrace, known as Prasat Prampil : Lavaeng, is perhaps the most monumental of them all. Situated in the southeastern quadrant of Angkor Thom, the terrace now supports the Buddha image found by 20th-century archaeologists inside the central well of the Bayon. (Figure 14) Lost and Found?: foreign pilgrims to Angkor I want to end here with a brief note on foreign pilgrimage to Angkor during the middle period. Cambodias direct participation in the international economic trade which developed across the Southeast Asian region, primarily through maritime networks, during this time was relatively limited. Yet Angkor was affected by this international movement in the region in important ways. Situated inland, Angkor became a special travel destination, and a locus of international cultural exchange.

A first indication of this can be read in an inscription found at Phnom Bakheng18 (Figures 15 and 16). This Khmer text, carved into the base of a Buddha image, was composed by a monk in the 16th century. In it he recounts his travels from afar to an ancient religious site near Oudong, a region in southern Cambodia, where the Khmer royal capital would eventually settle into the 19th century After restoring Buddhist statues at Oudong, he travels to Angkor where he will then restore more statues and make more religious foundations atop Phnom Bakheng. As I mentioned a moment ago, this text is in Khmer yet it is a slightly strange Khmer. Linguistic analyses in fact strongly suggest that this text was composed by a Tai speaker. I wont go into the details here; suffice it to say that this was very probably a Khmer-speaking Siamese monk (or a Tai-speaking Khmer monk) who made the pilgrimage to Angkor.

It is particularly interesting in this context to note a central wish made in the text:

I offer another wish to the King: may he reign and protect our Kingdom of Kambuja and ensure stability and long life until the end of time, in pushing out all malevolent enemies.

Even though or perhaps because Siam and Cambodia had been at war, this Khmer speaking Tai monk or Tai-speaking Khmer monk wishes the Khmer King to vanquish enemies at Angkor.

Japanese people religious men or traders were among other early pilgrims to Angkor.19 There are 14 Japanese calligraphic inscriptions at Angkor Vat, most of which are located in Preah Pean. These texts were painted in ink, rather than carved in stone, and date to the twenty years between 1612 and 1632. (Figure 17). Most of these give only the name and place of origin of their writers a sort of 17th-century Japanese I was here. Their authors would seem to have been primarily merchants, who, conducting maritime trade in the region, made the pilgrimage or tourist trek to Angkor. One text however stands out among the rest (Figure 18).

This text contains an invocation to the Buddha and is dedicated to the well-being of the authors parents. Recent research by Japanese scholars has provided convincing evidence to see in this Buddhist pilgrim the original author or artist of the famous first map of Angkor Vat (Figure 19).

This beautiful document, in ink and watercolor on paper, is archived now in the Shokokan Museum of Mito, Japan. The map would seem to be the last in a series of copies of an original made around 1630. Yet, this map, nor presumably its predecessors, is not labeled Angkor Vat.

The map is instead labeled Jetavana-vihara, that is the forest monastery built for the Buddha in the Buddhas time. For this mislabeling the map was only understood to represent Angkor Vat by an alert 20th century scholar who recognized in it the temples unique architectural plan and 3rd enclosure gallery reliefs by the astonishingly accurate description given of these.20 Now, Ashley Thompson Jetavana had of course long been an important site of pilgrimage by the time this map was made; scholars have frequently presumed that its pilgrim-author or perhaps his boatmaster or tour guides simply misnavigated, taking Cambodia for India. It seems to me, however, that it may well be worth our while to attempt another reading of what has too often been seen as a mistake. Could it not be that, by the 17th century, Angkor Vat was assimilated with Jetavana?

That the great temple, now a great Theravadin Buddhist pilgrimage site, was seen to represent Jetavana itself in much the same way that Angkors Siem Reap river was long called the Ganges or that its Kulen mountains have been called the Himalayas, or even that Angkor Vat itself was once seen to represent Vishnus paradise on earth? This phenomenon of localization, or transposition of sacred geography to the here and now, is indeed fundamental to the Buddhist imagination. So rather than proof of the poor geographical knowledge or navigational skills of our 17th-century Japanese pilgrims, this map may well stand as proof to the importance of Angkor Vat in the Buddhist imagination well beyond the confines of Cambodia in the postAngkorian period.

I want to conclude with an ecumenical message left us by some anonymous pilgrim to Angkor perhaps in the 16th century, perhaps later.

Colonial researchers and conservation authorities were rather taken aback by the late Theravadin transformation of the ancient Brahmanic temple of Phnom Bakheng noted above. Construction of the great seated Buddha around the 16th-century had of course meant the disfiguration and significant dismantlement of the 9thcentury temple. The satellite sanctuaries were largely taken apart such that their stones could be re-employed in the colossal Buddha image. Initially, it would seem, French conservationists did not understand that the construction covering the true temple was a Buddha at all. So they promptly set about taking apart the then partially ruined Buddha in order to restore the ancient temple as best they could. In their own modern-day dismantlement process, they discovered an abundance of sacred deposits in the masonry: Buddha statues, gold leaves, remarkable Buddha images in gold and silver repouss, along with a fascinating stela (Figure 20). This stela contains a four-line text in Arabic, of which three have been deciphered.21 They are stock phrases,

one of which at least comes from the Koran. And they read something like this:

In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Benevolent There is no other god than Allah and Muhammad is the envoy of Allah Aid from Allah and future victory; and the good news is announced to Believers.

Analysis of the script led the texts translator to believe that a local scribe, unfamiliar with Arabic script, carved the stone according to a written model. Now, while Allah is proclaimed here to be the only God, the text was inscribed atop Phnom Bakheng, this site of Buddhist worship. It doesnt seem to me that this declaration of faith would indicate some past religious conflict. Instead, it points up the range of Angkors attraction as a site not only, then, of Buddhist pilgrimage but of religious pilgrimage in a much broader sense. And that this invocation to Allah was eventually incorporated into the body of Phnom Bakhengs colossal Buddha, again, should not be interpreted as a sign of contempt for the Islamic faith on the part of the Buddhist builders; the stela was used, instead, like other sacred images, literally to build the Buddha, and metaphorically of course to build the Buddhas spiritual power.

So, Angkor teaches us many things. When I first conceived this paper I was not thinking of this unique and uniquely significant Islamic inscription; and I was certainly not expecting to end with a note on religious tolerance, or with an appeal to our collective future. But, I shouldnt be surprised: Angkor after Angkor is at its heart a place of spirituality and if we simply take the time to make the pilgrimage, we will, I believe, always find in Angkor the memory and the promise of another order.



Figure 1: Angkor Vat. The areas indicated each contain significant evidence of reappropriation of the temple in the middle period, and will be discussed below. (Image produced by Khut Sokhan, Reyum)


Figure 5: IMA 38, early 18th-c.

inscription on eastern side of Angkor Vats third enclosure.

(Photo by Epigraphic Inventory Unit, Department of Culture and Research, APSARA)


Figure 17: 17th-c. Japanese ink text at Angkor Vat (Inscription H). (Photo by Heritage Inventory Unit, Department of Culture and Research, APSARA) Ashley Thompson


A version of this paper was presented at the San Francisco Society for Asian Arts 2002 Fall Arts of Asia Series: Spiritual Journeys: Art and Culture on Pilgrimage Paths through Asia. An abbreviated Khmer version, presented at Phnom Penhs Royal University of Fine Arts in December 2002, is to appear in the Student Bulletin of the Department of Archaeology, Royal University of Fine Arts, 2004. The Introduction and Part I are based in part on a series of previous publications. I refer the reader to these at relevant points throughout the text, particularly for further analyses and bibliographical information.

These first four introductory paragraphs draw from A. Thompson, Between the Lines: Writing Histories of Middle Cambodia, in Other Pasts: Women, Gender and History in Early Modern Southeast Asia, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Hawaii, 2000.

Parts of this section draw from the first two chapters of my doctoral dissertation, Mmoires du Cambodge, Universit de Paris 8, 1999, as well as A. Thompson, The Future of Cambodias Past: A Messianic Middle-Cambodian Royal Cult, Building Cambodian Buddhism Anew: Historical and Contemporary Configurations of a Religious Tradition, edited by E. Guthrie and J. Marston, University of Hawaii, 2004.

Dates calculated by G. Cds in La date dexcution des deux bas-reliefs tardifs dAngkor Vat, Journal Asiatique1962, 2, p. 236 7.

The life of Suryavarman II is frequently represented as en epic tale in ancient epigraphy. Through his posthumous name given in the first of the two inscriptions cited above, Ang Chan, like many other Khmer monarchs, is clearly associated with Rama, a popular avatar of Vishnu.

The end of the story of Krishnas victory over Bana, in which the victorious god does not harm his vanquished enemy, renders equally well the compassion of a Buddhist king. In fact, this last episode of the Vishnuite epic, well known in ancient Cambodia, took the form of Buddhist jataka tales and historical legends in Sri Lankan and numerous Southeast Asian traditions. On the storys assimilation in Thailand, see Nandana Chutiwongs, Phu Phra Bat An Archaeological Site in Northeastern Thailand, paper given at the 7th Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists, Berlin, September 1998.

IMA 2. For a critical edition of the full text see S. Lewitz, Inscriptions modernes dAngkor 2 et 3, BEFEO, LVII, Paris, 1970, p. 99 126.

IMA 3. See S. Lewitz, Inscriptions modernes dAngkor 2 et 3, BEFEO, LVII, Paris, 1970, p. 99 126.

Or consecrated the sacred reliquary. In modern khmer the term sarikadhatu (corrected by S. Lewitz as

saririkadhatu, corporal relic) can designate the corporal relics of either the Buddha or a royal or highranking religious leader. Through a common metonymical association, this term seems to have also designated the reliquary itself since the middle period. See A. Thompson, The Ancestral Cult in Transition:

Reflections on Spatial Organization of Cambodias early Theravada Complex, in Marijke J. Klokke and Thomas de Brujin, eds., Southeast Asian Archaeology 1996. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists, Leiden, 2 6 September 1996, Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Hull, 1998.

satec bra jta pn bra ag.See explanation of this alternative translation below.

My English translation here differs only slightly from S. Lewitzs French. In addition to changes explained below, I chose to understand prkr not in its literal sense, rampart, enclosing wall, but, through metonymical association, as temple; in this reading bra biulokaprkr becomes a compound noun temple of Preah Pisnulok, which reiterates the preceding term, mahprsddh.

IMA 4. See S. Lewitz, Inscriptions modernes dAngkor 4, 5, 6 et 7, BEFEO, LVIII, Paris, 1971, p.

105 23.

I have slightly modified S. Lewitz translation (1971: 114 115: ... a bti une tour de pierre quatre faces, fabriqu quatre statues de Buddha de pierre dposes en cette tour au toit cinq tages...) to better highlight the conjunction of epigraphic and archaeological evidence. That pacaprsd designates the : five towers of the uppermost level of Angkor Vat, rather than referring to a tower with a five-story roof, is confirmed by modern usage of a variation of this term: prsd pr.

The ambiguity of the term s, which can mean either build or restore must be taken into consideration in each of the inscriptions from Angkor Vat cited here. Though it is clear that the prasat itself was only restored, we can not be certain whether the Buddha images mentioned were newly sculpted or restored. It is possible, for example, that this dignitary restored the four ancestors of Preah Sathas inscription represented by four Buddhas sculpted during or before his reign.

Or repaired (s).

IMA 6. Again, I have modified S. Lewitz translation (1971). See following commentary.

These are the popular Khmer versions of the Pali (Kakusandha, Koagamana, Kassapa, Gotama), in which the first two names include the animals associated with the first two Buddhas: the kuka (cock) and the naga (neak). Although the order varies some depending on the informant, in general we find Kuk Sandho to the north, Neak Gamano to the west, Kassapo to the south and Samana Gotam to the east.

Or, according to some, the eastern image.

See S. Pou, Inscriptions modernes dAngkor 34 et 38, BEFEO, LXII, Paris, 1975, p. 283 353.

See S. Pou, Inscription du Phnom Bakheng (K.465), Nouvelles inscriptions du Cambodge, EFEO, Paris 1989.

Y. Ishizawa has published numerous articles on this topic. See in particular Inscriptions calligraphiques japonaises dans Angkor Vat au 17me siecle.

See N. Pri, Un plan japonais dAngkor Vat. Essai sur les relations du Japon et de lIndochine aux XVI et XVII sicles, BEFEO, XXIII, 1923, p. 119 ff.

See translation by G. Ferrand in La stle arabe du Phnom Bakhen, BEFEO XXII, p. 160. See also J.

Dumaray, Phnom Bakheng. Etude Architecturale du Temple, EFEO, Paris, 1971, p. 2.

Indochina: Trends in development


Joining the four Indo-China states Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia the Association of South-East Asia Nations (ASEAN) not only made the consolidation of the SouthEast Asia political stability easier, but also raised this alignments international prestige that promoted more favorable conditions for developing intraregional economic cooperation, strengthening the community positions with regard to the third countries and their alignments both in the political and in economical spheres. At the same time this organization faced a number of new and complicated problems.

Relative low economic standards of the Associations new members as well as lack of correspondence of their economic infrastructure and mentality of a great mass of the population and of industrial, business and management personnel experience with up-to-date market economy requirements impeded the economic ties development success not only between the old and new alignment members but also in the very group of the new participants of the organization.

Another factor that made difficult the four Indo-China countries joining the ASEAN was the necessity of their adaptation to the inter-regional trade and economic ties liberalization process which began in 1970 1980. Taking into consideration extremely low output in general and insufficient range of goods to be exported, the four, particularly Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, could be found in deliberately unfavorable position in the intraregional market under circumstances of the supposed elimination of all foreign trade barriers in the community. But having agreed upon free sales on the home market of industrial products imported from more developed alignment states, to which they are not able to oppose to corresponding competitive : products, further prospects of their own modern diversified manufacturing industry development could be doubtful.

Another reason seriously influenced, at least in the initial period, on the new countries as ASEAN members and their adaptation to the alignment was the monetary-financial crisis which took place in 1990-s and covered actually almost all old participants of the community.

The mentioned crisis phenomena occurred in the most old and economically developed six countries of the ASEAN brought to an evident lowering of their economic potential along with a decline of level of business and deterioration of the competitive positions in the system of the international division of labor. These circumstances couldnt help affecting the volume, structure and dynamics of inter-alignment contacts of the alignment states. All these reasons resulted in a sharp cut of their investment capacities as a whole and a reduction of their direct private allocations within the region in particular, and also in the new partners national economy of the community.

Meanwhile, the communitys participants, first of all the first six members, have compensated the losses owing to the extension of trade. In the crisis period they had to shorten their products deliveries on foreign markets particularly finished goods, and at the same time to restrict import operations because of setback in production, decline in investment activity and in living standard of the population and also because of growth of prices on products being imported that was a result of local currency devaluation. On the other hand, although the initial period of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar membership coincided with the economic crisis of 1990-s that involved the other countries of the ASEAN, they were found to be beyond the crisis epicenter. This situation can be explained by the outlying districts of the countries in the world economy and by their insufficient by absolute scale activity in the region economics as well as their economy which remained still closed in spite of gradual liberalization of foreign economic ties. Therefore the crisis impact upon the four Indo-China countries processes could not always be considered as obvious, and sometimes it disagreed with the alignments elder members crisis phenomena vector and dynamics. So, the total economics potential of the communitys new countries did not suffer from the crisis impact, but just the reverse, their potential even increased to some extent.

The four Indo-China countries economics positive changes occurring against a crisis phenomena background of the neighboring economics in the region, favored the consolidation of these states positions, though insignificantly, in the Association economic activities and their global economic cooperation.

However, despite the absolute and relative increase observed in the newcommers economic dynamics as well as consolidation of their positions in the alignment economics, intraregional business and monetary ties development was failing to keep up with the corresponding growth rates of their external economic relations as a whole. This vector of the development of foreign economic relations could be explained not by insufficient economic activity level of the four Indo-China countries but by stirring up their economic cooperation with partners from the neighboring and more distant regions under new political and economical conditions.

Rapid expansion of the economic relations outside the region, which took place in the end of 1990-s and in the beginning of 2000-s on the one hand, and the increase of the more old partners attention on the intraregional cooperation under conditions of the monetary crisis on the other hand, caused the growth rate lagging in the trade and economic and monetary cooperation of the majority of the new members with all their partners behind the appropriate average indexes typical for the ASEAN on the whole. The consequence of the said above was the total deterioration of the Indo-China countries competitive positions actually in all sectors of the intraregional economic relations.

Indochina: Trends in development Thus, regardless of the preliminary predictions, the alignments countries characterized by rather low level of the economic development, in spite of its economic potential growth and positions improvement in the their economy, will continue decreasing their participation in the intraregional economic ties in case of slackening in the growth rates observed in older and economically more developed neighbors. At the same time, the tendency towards the expansion of the new alignment countries economic relationship with all the ASEANs members will prevail due to the economies structural conversion of the considered countries and their industrialization as well as diversification of industrial production range and increase of its volume.


Foreign Capital in Indochina: Scale and Dynamics How to attract more foreign private capital investment to Indochina economies? At the beginning of the XXI st century the problem has become of a special acuteness. The author has made an attempt to evaluate the real stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the subregion and its dynamics during the previous five-eight years and especially in the so-called post-crisis period after 1997 98.

Unlike most researchers who analyzed the foreign capital stock and flows on the country-by-country level the author places the emphasis on analysis of the foreign capital position in Indochina states on a higher level as a subregion of the Southeast Asia (SEA). He has a chance to scan the situation with FDI only, inasmuch as the corresponding statistical data exist. But as is well known, in all countries of Indochina, except for Thailand, portfolio and other kind of foreign investment are not widespread and do not play an essential role in investment process.

As a result the author is of opinion that the most relevant conclusions helping to evaluate the scale and dynamics of FDI in Indochina are as following:

In 1995 2002 an investment boom was observed in Indochina states. The combined inflow of FDI to the subregion was about $48 bln, the sum which was three times as much as in the preceding eight years. During that period the total FDI flows to Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar increased nearly by 8 times as much as in 1987 94, to Laos 4,4 times, to Thailand 2,3 times. In 1995 2002 the total stock of FDI in Indochina states increased by 2,3 times as compared with 1987 94. Accordingly, in Cambodia the figure increased by 8,6 times, in Myanmar by more than 5 times, in Laos and Vietnam by 3 times and just by 1,7 times in Thailand.

In 1995 2002 the share of Indochina states in the total FDI inflow to SEA raised steeply up to 27,4% compared with 18,7% in the preceding eight years. But the process was remarkable for irregularity. There was a smooth rise of the share in total FDI inflow to the region in 1995 1997 (from 16,5 to 22,4%), but in 1998, by the time of the acute financial crisis swinging about SEA a sharp (nearly 2 times) increase of the figure took place up to 43,4%.

The share remained on this high level up to 2002 with some minor changes.

Towards the early 21th century the investment attraction of Indochina states increased notably against a background of growing risks in the other SEA states. To a great extent that was bound up with the fact that the governments of such countries of the subregion as Vietnam, : Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar appreciated distinctly that the true and dynamic socio-economic development was not possible without large-scale FDI participation. The success of FDI attraction to all of Indochina states was determined not by regulatory measures of any kind but by more favourable investment climate.

But to the same or even greater extent the ruling circles of Indochina states were obliged to brisk up efforts in order to lay down more favourable investment climate under the pressure of China, their mighty competitor in SEA, which was very successful in attracting FDI during the period under review. China not only pulled aside the new FDI coming to SEA, but rather gained over some foreign investors from Indochina states. In 2002, the first year after China's admittance in WTO, the flow of FDI to the subregion declined by 2,1 times, and its share in total flow of FDI to SEA shrunk from 42,2 to 18,1%.

From 1995 to 2001 as a whole the major investors in the subregion were the countries of East Asia (51,7%) with an obvious leadership of Japan and Singapore which supplied nearly 1/3 of the total FDI received by Indochina states. Hong Kong and Taiwan took the lower level as well as the newcomers Malaysia and Indonesia which made their first investment in Indochina states just in the 90-ties. The second rank was occupied by the EC countries (14,9%) with the leadership of Great Britain and France and the third one by the United States.

In the period under review the raising activity of Japanese and Singaporean investors in Indochina could be observed, especially after 2000. Their combined share in total FDI flow to the subregion increased from 26 to 60%. Beginning from 1999 a considerable slowdown in European investment to Indochina is taking place.


While the economic development of the countries of Indochina accelerates, their interest in the Mekong river increases. The growth of demand for water resources, especially when they are transboundary, creates the potential for emerging intergovernmental conflicts on water. This possibility was taken into account on the initial stage of economic modernization in the region when the Committee was formed to foster joint development projects of the Mekong River Basin.

But unfavorable for cooperation the political situation in the region for many years challenged the committee in accomplishing its duties. When the situation changed and at the same time rivalry between countries for the control over the waters of the Mekong river especially for hydro-power building became more intense, their interest in the Committee as the regulator of the vexed problems has been rekindled. But economic contradictions between states complicated the functioning of the Committee.

Nevertheless that very economic considerations determined the future of the Committee, which was transformed into the Commission in accordance with the Agreement on Cooperation for Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin signed by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia in 1995.

The creation of the Commission is a political move, surpassing objective necessity of the countries of the region in resource-sharing and joint management of the Mekong River BaIndochina: Trends in development sin existing today. The national interests in developing the Mekong river prevails over the regional ones. And as before such policy creates the possibility for emerging inter-state disputes and reciprocal claims.

The ability of the Mekong Commission as the regional structure to prevent the creation of social and environmental conflicts subjected to the development of the Mekong river and therefore guarantee the sustainable development in the region is open to question. The situation is aggravated by the fact that environmental and social requirements of development, although being formally recognized by all states as their priorities, have remained the object of their declarations but not of practical realization.

But the Mekong Commission designed mainly to implement regional programs is poorly adjusted to solving social and environmental conflicts that emerge on the national level, though having regional consequences.

However the Mekong Commission still lacks clear position on the projects, being torn by contradictory interests of those who supports large scale dam building on the one hand and those who backs the implementation of environmentally sound models of development on the other hand. Trying to prevent internal split and conciliate different views the Commission inclines to exaggerate the negative consequences of the past deeds and undermine the contemporary ones.

Nevertheless, the functioning of the Mekong Commission favors the increase of attention of the world public, the population of the region and governmental agencies towards environmental issues, the solution of which have become an urgent need.

Concern upon the future of the Mekong river is justified, taking into account the fact that by now the ecosystem of the river has been irretrievably damaged and signs of its degradation have become more evident tropical forests are diminishing, the biodiversity is rapidly losing, the rate of erosion is accelerating. In short the unique river system that is not succumbed to restoration is being heavily destroyed.


South-East Asia countries economic relations with the Peoples Republic of China (P.R.C.) are becoming more urgent at the boundary of the XXXI centuries. For the last 15 years of the late century, the P.R.C. became one of the leading economic partners of the SouthEast Asia countries, e.g. two-way trade volume for that period increased from $13 to 40 billion.

China is also a large investor of these countries economies.

Such ties with the eastern Indo-China countries, in particular Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, began strengthening in the mid of 1970s with restoration of peace and cementing national independence of the mentioned three states. By to-day, they have very diverse bilateral and transnational contacts with China in trade, financial and investment spheres where the P.R.C.

(together with its new territory of Hong-Kong and also with Taiwan) occupies one of the leading positions among other world partners.

These relations are based upon both interstate and contractual and legal foundations.

: The paper contains a brief description of the development process and characteristic of different steps of Indo-China economic relations with the P.R.C. since the second half of the XX century. The author believes that many events of both world and regional importance had the influence on the relations progress. So, after the socialist system collapse, these relations began not only changing, but also renewing and consolidating in spite of reiterated complications and interruptions provoked by political contradictions and military conflicts which sometime happened on this ground.

Many negative trends of the three countries economic relations with the P.R.C. are being gradually changed for more positive and rational. International statistics and bank reports show that the four states economical intensification which took place for the studied period corresponds to the processes of globalization gaining in strength in the world with all its specific consequences typical for economically highly developed and poor countries.

At the same time, not a single conclusion can be draw: the time showed that the mentioned states policy especially well seen on the P.R.C. example proceeds not only from economical, but considerably from strategic interests (these are the ambitions, the historical opposition of Vietnam to China, their struggle for political influence zones in the region, genetic Thailand striving to have stronger positions in Laos, competition with quickly reviving China, West and Japan for Indo-Chinese markets that nevertheless sometimes acts in favor of their smaller

economic partners). It proves the great attention the P.R.C. leadership focuses on eastern IndoChina economic ties with Hong Kong (which has maintained its right for membership in some international organizations) and Taiwan as well as with developed capitalist countries.

The intensification of the Indo-China economic cooperation with the Peoples Republic of China is a part of the process of approaching the ASEAN organization. This process had been predicted 20 years ago and it was promoted by global political climate warming up, on the one hand, and by authority growth of the eastern Indo-China countries, on the other hand, as reliable and prospective business partners of the developed and developing economic systems of the world economy. Pledge of this success is that their markets are becoming more and more overt (though this process is moving in a complicated manner and not so quickly) and the Indo-China states reformatory policy which is going on despite of lots of objective troubles. This conclusion, or rather forecast, has been proved by studies results obtained by national and foreign specialists. The reality of a new situation is that the eastern Indo-China sub-region must be considered at present not only as a South-East Asia strategic importance zone, but also as one of the growing centers of world communitys economic interests.


Language Situation and Language Policy in Countries of Indochina The Indochinese Peninsula is one of the most particoloured regions of the world from the ethnolinguistic point of view. It can boast of approximately 300different languages spoken there, e.g. Thailand 62, Vietnam 54, Laos 48, Myanmar 135, and Cambodia 19. At the colonial period the languages of ruling powers French and English played a dominant role in the field of communication in the Indochinese countries, except Thailand (Siam) which retained formal independence. In the post-colonial period the languages of prevalent ethnic group assumed this Indochina: Trends in development part instead. At the same time language building for national minorities made start some countries of Indochina, as Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Laos. However shortly after this process was curtailed owing to the conceit of the major ethnic group, on the one hand, and nationalistic trends among some minorities, on the other. Upon the plea of national integrity the ruling elites launched the policy of assimilation of minorities and turned a deaf ear to their languages. The languages of prevailing authorities monopolized all spheres of mass communication, whereas minority languages were deprived of any social rights and were driven back to the very margin of communicational field. Such state of things lasted until recently.

For the last decade sociolinguistic situation in Indochina has changed for better slightly.

Local administration showed signs of tolerance to disadvantaged minorities and their languages.

There appeared some possibilities, though delayed, for the revitalization and even development of minority languages. The most favorable situation in this respect is now in Myanmar. In some national districts of this country minority languages gained certain social status: object of learning, language of instruction, means of some mass media, etc. On the whole, these measures of local authorities are rather hesitating and evidently belated. Young generation for the considerable part dont know mother tongue, they look to a national language as a language of higher social status and slight the language of their parents. Linguistic continuity and traditions are cut off. Most of the minority languages in Indochina can hardly survive, they are doomed.

The specific feature of the sociolinguistic situation in Indochina is that many languages spoken there are the so-called transnational languages, i.e. languages spread in two or more adjacent countries, including neighboring areas of Southwest China. Ethnic borders and state borders cut each other. Aspirations for the ethnic unity may be at variance with the interests of state integrity and vise versa. Such state of things is rot with internal and external conflicts.

Finally, the latest feature of sociolinguistic situation in Indochina is the rush for the English language. A lot of young people treat their indigenous languages as lowgraded, outdated, and prefer to study English than their mother tongue.


For the period of last decades, Thailand has passed a complicated and rather contradictory road of its socio-economic and political development and has achieved serious results in economy and in social sphere.

In spite of an intensive process of industrial sector and municipal economy capitalistic modernization, 70% of its population has been living in rural areas, and more than 40% of the gainfully employed population is engaged in the agricultural sector.

The capitalistic modernization is seizing more and more rural provinces of the country.

So, for the period of 1975 2000, a share of the population employed in industry, trade and services in the structure of the gainfully employed population lived in the rural regions increased from 20 up to 47%. By the beginning of 2000, 60% of all businessmen (owners, manufacturers) lived outside the cities, and 62% of economically active citizens living there were hired workers.

A large number of hired laborers in the rural regions included about 2 million farm workers and more than 6,6 million industrial, trade and service employees. 1,6 million (22%) : hired workers were engaged in state-owned enterprises and about 7 million (78%) were employed in the individual sector.

Numerous groups of the rural business participants occupy pretty strong economical positions, they secure large profits. Also they are financed by national and provincial banks and gradually are being involved in the capitalist economy.

At the same time, different forms of illegal business are going on to be kept. Profits from border trade, drugs smuggling, gambling business that widely spread in Thailand, illegal immigration, prostitution and other kinds of sexual services were equal to amounts equivalent, by the beginning of 2000, to 20% of the GDP cost. All this illegal business has been concentrated in the hands of local provincial bosses cropped up from Chinese immigrants so called chao pho.

The rural business activity obtains gradually more organized up-to-date corporative configurations. Provincial towns and large regional centers create local associations of businessmen, Boards of Trade, banks and finance companies which use modern methods of commerce activity and various ways of business-like cooperation.

The capitalistic modernization begins changing the social structure of the population living outside the towns. However, despite the steady increase of this population engaged beyond the agricultural branch, more than half (53% of manpower taken into account outside the towns) are the people strictly linked with agricultural production and are the members of different farms. All they represent a specific social community peasantry, in the broad sense. They incorporate due to -the labor activity character, rural way of life and some historically formed specific features of the national mentality, social behavior, and religious-ethical reception of the world. The advanced politological researches combine them by the common term chao thi that in English means lord of the place and are considered as the nation basis that played a decisive role in forming national territory, cultivation of new lands and Thai statehood formation.

The majority of peasants are the owners working the land. Unlike peasantry of the South-East Asia countries, they suffered insignificantly from pressure of landlords, bureaucrats, and local merchants capital. The Thai peasantry developed as the most socially stable part of the society, isolated to some extent and provided with land.

Just in the village, such traditional features of the Thai society as status hierarchy, realization of different forms of collectivism and mutual aid, honoring of elders, personal behavior toleration, devotion to orthodox Buddhism, and recognition of the Kings power and bureaucratic arrangements existing in the country have been kept. The peasants themselves elect persons to perform some leading roles and to maintain relations with local officials delegated by the metropolis. Village headmen elected at general meetings are considered as the highest local authorities for the inhabitants. This practice took place even in the periods of dictatorship and for a period of some years it remained a single form of public representation in the country. Reclamation of new lands and manpower shifting stipulated a kind of dynamism in the peasants social behavior which is seen in rural population migration mobility, in highly different permanent and seasonal forms of migration. These are a rural population inflow to the towns, particularly to the region of the Bangkok agglomeration, and simultaneous reverse flow from towns to the villages. In the conditions of rapid growth of capitalism and market relations and their dissemination not only in towns, but also in outlining districts, the traditional peasantry social isolation inevitably gets broken. Peasants by birth have been widely represented in the students, intellectuals, municipal hired workers, bureaucratic and business circles. They take an active part in political processes that occur in the country. The overwhelming majority of them is going on to maintain the most important vital interests with their village relatives and fellow-villagers.

The traditional peasant ideology and transformed national Thai mentality still strongly kept in the Indochina: Trends in development village are widely spreading both in the countryside and urban regions and determine seriously numerous groups of urban inhabitants social behavior and political predilections irrespective of duration of their living period in the towns or places they occupy in the modern Thai society.

Combination of up-to-date and traditional factors in political life and conservation of the traditional peasant ideology influence on numerous urban population groups is a definite factor smoothing acuteness of social contradictions and political conflicts inevitably appearing in the conditions of capitalist modernization of the economy and society.

There are some forces in Thailand which catch keenly social and cultural impulses originated from the traditional peasant world and which seek to use them in the interests of the national unity, cultural prosperity and economical and political stability of the society.

These forces are represented first of all by the monarchy still possessing immense political authority, Buddhist sangha leadership and non-government agencies of different kinds.

Political parties functioning in the country and the government of Taxing Chinnovat exercising the power take into consideration the social role of the peasants and traditional social and cultural and ideological values maintained by them.

The traditional Thai mentality with its tolerance, aspiration to avoid conflicts and to achieve peaceful settlement disputes as well as the rural society social stability are the determining social factors which guarantee Thailand a successive way out of rather critical situations without great sacrifices, maintaining the political stability and achievement of considerable positive changes in the national economy development.


2003 marked a watershed in the political development of Cambodia. Cambodians celebrated the 50th anniversary of obtaining independence and the 10th anniversary of the termination of peacemaking operation and the formation of a new state the Kingdom of Cambodia.

In the 90s Cambodia underwent three major large-scale social transformations, which required urgent consideration, namely the transition from war to peace, from planned to market economy and from authoritarianism to liberal democracy.

The democratic transit in Cambodia had a number of distinctive features. Firstly, it took place in special international context when democratic ideas became the spirit of the time.

Secondly, it was initiated and financed by the international community. Thirdly, the democratic transition started without the necessary socio-economic and cultural-political prerequisites.

Fourthly, despite the wide variety of differently oriented political forces former royalists, communists, Khmer Rouge, and simply immigrants which switched into the political process there were no frictions between them neither of politico-ideological nature nor in the questions of political and economic strategies of development. Thus the interests of the major political actors in Cambodia were quite similar they struggled for domination over resources, control over certain elements of the economic system, as well as for influence on state structures and institutions engaged in the distribution of these resources. In addition, the transformation was characterized by the fact that the old nomenclature of Cambodian Peoples Party (CPP) remained at power.

: The political process in Cambodia in the 90-s was determined by three parties Cambodian Peoples Party, Funcinpec, and Sam Rainsy Party (SRP). In early 90-s CPP managed to consolidate its power in the country. Liberal economic reforms, which started in the late 80-s led to a boost in economic activity and to the creation of close linkages between state officials and businessmen. Central authorities, namely the CPP, took the role of the protector of the economic interests of the local bureaucrats and the party apparatus. The ruling circles of the party won the loyalty of civil and military servants and managed to consolidate these strata around the leaders of the party. Thus the traditional patron-client relations between central and local authorities were given new vitality. In weak states political power is always economic in its essence. The state dominates through its capacity to monopolize, distribute, and exploit natural resources.

This factor becomes even more powerful in periods of transformation. Control over them allowed the authorities to withdraw those resources from the population, a fact which had significant political implications. The local administration, as well as the central authorities thus obtained an excellent tool of economic pressure on the rural population for the purposes of political mobilization.

However, during the elections of 1993 in the presence of a large body of international observers from the UN the CPP failed as yet to make full use of the mobilizing potential of the local authorities. Funcinpec won the first elections with a narrow margin, the CPP coming a close second. The government formed after the elections could most adequately be described as a polarized coalition, since neither of the sides was prepared for fruitful cooperation. Each of the parties regarded it as a necessary measure, a temporary pause before political and electoral struggle. The factual presense in the government of two prime- ministers led to the division of civil and military structures between two patrons.

The creation of the coalition based upon parity principles triggered the marginalisation of Funcinpec conditioned by objective as well as subjective factors. Firstly, it had a very limited access to natural resources which deprived the party of the opportunity to form a solid financial foundation in the specific Cambodian context. Moreover, it substancially reduces the mechanisms of exerting economic pressure on the population for the purposes of its political mobilisation in the interests of the party. Secondly, Funcinpec had no virtually no branches on the level below provinces and thus the rural electorate remained largely uncovered by its influence. This led to the orgarnisational weakness of the party and limited opportunities to expand its social base. Thirdly, prince Ranariddh failed to fulfill the role of the traditional patron, to express gratitude to those members of the political elite who had supported him.

As far as the development of democracy in the country is concerned, the emergence of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party can be regarded as one of the most significant moves in this direction. However, the specifics of political views of the party leader made itself felt from the very first steps of his political activity. It conditioned a distinctive opposition strategy. According to Sam Rainsy, the international community must be the major lever of democratisation processes in Cambodia. He linked the containment of the authoritarianism of Hun Sens power with the pressure on the government from the part of the international community rather than with the development of democratic institutions within the country.

From the late 90s, Cambodia has increasingly been moving in the direction of retraditionalisation of its political space, which has two major trends- one coming from below and one from above. Retraditionalisation from below is the result of objective circumstances. The election system throws out into the political arena people from poor backgrounds, mainly peasantary, whose political conciousness is entirely dominated by traditional, largely, paternalistic stereotypes. They carry a whole host of traditional meanings, symbols and norms of behaviour.

Indochina: Trends in development Retraditionalisation is also implemented by political elite. As a rule, political leaders deliberately use the methods and forms of traditional political culture. When politicians address the public, especially those living in rural areas, they necessarily have to use the language of the national political tradition. One of the simpliest ways to do this is to appeal to monarchical slogans and the personality of the King. The most vivid example in this relation is the activity of Funcinpec. Throughout the process of democratic transformation the party has been associated with the King and this has been used as the major election slogan.

Anti-Vietnamese slogans of Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party appealing to national consolidation are no less traditional. The CPP is also increasingly using traditional methods. It aspires to foster patrono- cliental relations with the population, while combining them with modern bureacratic forms of control and pressure.

In the last decade the King has been acting as an intermediary in the settlement of political crises which generally emerge after elections. The traditional method of conflict resolution with the help of the institute of the monarchy prevented the political actors from spoiling their reputation, since through making them obey his will, the King bestowed his charisma upon them. Thus, Norodom Sihanouks political wisdom and experience turned the conservative political institute of monarchy into a certain guarantee of the expansion of democratic transformation of the country.

The modern political process in Cambodia is characterized by a strong personification of power which manifests itself primarily in stressing the enourmous personal contribution of Hun Sen to the preservation of political stability and those tangible results of economic development, which are felt by citizens on the local level.

One of the most significant indications of the retraditionalisation of Cambodian political space is the aspiration of political leaders to legitimize their power using the norms and concepts of traditional political culture. In Cambodia Buddhism has traditionally been given the legitimizing priority. Buddhism helps to secure and maximize the legitimacy. It can still construct emotive arguments in support of political actors.

In the last years the prime-minister Hun Sen is increasingly turning to Buddhism. This manifests itself mainly in his donations to the Sangha. During the last year he has presided over the inauguration of several pagodas every month, most of them are built on his personal donations. He also takes an active part in organizing religious festivals to raise money for the needs of the Sangha. It is true to say that he used to be involved in charity before but those activities were mostly secular. The religious activity of Hun Sen is widely publicized. He represents his life as an example of a karma of an ordinary man a son of a poor peasant- who achieved his present top position thanks to his deeds in this life rather then in previous ones. The representation of his life within the conceptual framework of khmer traditional political culture moderates the inherent karmic fatalism of this religion, gives people the hope to achieve tangible results in this life, privides a powerful impetus to act here and now. In his address to the public Hun Sen often calls to abide by the moral and ethical principals of Buddhism declaring that the foreign policy of the country rests upon the principles of non-violence and Buddhist peace culture.

His relations with the Sangha are very much like those during the Sihanouk period in the 60-s.

No doubt, he seeks traditional legitimacy willing to act as a traditional leader. There is at least one more reason of Hun Sens appeal to Buddhism. In the last few years the country underwent a superficial but very fast westerniezation. By putting the new reality into traditional cultural context Hun Sen might be trying to alleviate the possible negative consequences of this process.

The results of the 2003 elections did not substancially alter the configuration of political forces in the country. The CPP won the majority of seats. The opposition Funcinpec and the : SRP preserved their electorate having lost 4% of the votes compared to the 1998 elections.

However, there have been major changes within the opposition itself. The Sam Rainsy Party has now become the primary political actor winning 60% more seats than in the previous elections.

Critically evaluating the political evolutrion of Cambodia in the last decade, it should be said that its development is characterized by multidimensionalism and variation. For this reason, it is impossible to give a straightforward interpretation of the political process in the country.

The existing regime is a mixture of democracy, authoritarianism, paternalism, clientalism, etc.

The eclectic nature of Cambodian political space, the coexistence of contradictory trends creates the potential to move in different directions. Pressure from the part of the international community, on the economic aid of which the country will remain dependant, at least in the forseeable future, guarantees that the country will follow the path of democratic development. However, one question arises: what this democracy will be like?


The role of foreign capital in the socio-economic development of Vietnam Capital constitutes the primary condition for economic growth in every nation. Vietnam is not an exemption and it needs a very big volume of capital to attain the target of high and sustainable growth in the coming years. Therefore, in the context of being less developed economy and possessing poor capacity of savings, the intensification of foreign capital mobilization to supplement the domestic sources is of great significance.

During the last decade sources of foreign capital in Vietnam consisted mainly of foreign direct investment (FDI) and official development assistance (ODA), commercial credits and loans were very limited due to strict state policy in this sector. Of these two above-mentioned main forms, FDI plays the most important role, because its not only a source of investment capital, but also includes transfer of technologies, management and marketing experience, access to global distribution network, etc. Moreover, while ODA, except for non-refundable aids, inflicts debt burden (though in case of Vietnam countrys debt is manageable), FDI generally doesnt affect adversely on countrys balance of payments. Due to these advantages Vietnam considers FDI inflows as a factor of great significance for economic development and restructuring in the coming years. As for ODA both Vietnamese leaders and donors community consider it as a very important source for development of infrastructure and social sphere (e.g. those sectors which foreign investors dont have any significant interest and at the same time the State doesnt have enough funds to invest in).

In 2001 2002 foreign capital amounted to more than 1/3 of countrys total investment capital (with FDI almost 19% and ODA 15%). Though this level has decreased in comparison with mid-90s (when only FDI amounted to 1/3 of total investment capital and overall foreign funds reached almost one half of it), international financing is still considered as one of the most effective resources for Vietnam development investments.

The legal system for foreign direct investments in Vietnam has taken shape in 1988 when National Assembly of SRV adopted the Law on foreign direct investments in Vietnam. Then the Law has been revised and amended several times in 1990, 1992, 1996 and 2000. First foreign investors came to Vietnam in last 80s early 90s, but the main flows began in mid-90s.

Indochina: Trends in development By 2003 FDI in Vietnam reached about 40 billion USD in more than 4000 registered projects from 74 countries and territories, while disbursed capital amounted to 22 billion USD.

During the last decade annual volumes of FDI inflows to Vietnam were fluctuating considerably. Reaching its maximum in mid-90s (almost 7 and 9 bln. in 1995 and 1996), then decreasing sharply in following 3 4 years in recent years foreign capital inflows to Vietnam stopped at the level of 2 2,5 bln. USD per year. Meanwhile the volumes of disbursed capital were increasing steadily and reached 2 2,3 bln. USD per year.

Regional countries are the main investors in Vietnams economy with Singapore, Taiwan and Japan always on leading positions. FDI projects were registered in almost all 50 Vietnamese provinces, but more than 70% of its volume are concentrated in the South key economic region (includes Hochiminh city, Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Baria-Vungtau provinces) and Hanoi. At the present moment more than 2/3 of FDI capital is channeled to industry and construction. In some key industries (oil&gas, automobile, metallurgy, etc.) foreign investments are playing the leading role. All the economic indicators of FDI enterprises were growing rapidly during the last decade. In 2002 enterprises with FDI capital produced 13% of countrys GDP, 35% of total industrial production, 27% of exports (if including crude oil this figure increases up to 47%), they provided 20% of state budget revenues and almost 0,5 million jobs for local stuff.

All these facts prove the increasing role of FDI sector in Vietnamese economy, which has all the potential for growth in the years to come. The main problem now is how to attract more foreign investments. Both Vietnamese and international experts admit that the only way to fulfill this target is to upgrade radically the business environment in the country.

Development of ODA programs in Vietnam began after 1975, but prior to 1993 it was mainly nominal with small amounts of aid disbursed by several UN agencies. In the 90s with the normalization of relations between major countries, international organizations and Vietnam ODA was rising fast. Through 11 annual donors conferences since 1993, ODA funds in Vietnam were growing rapidly from year to year and by the end of 2002 donors pledges reached 20 billion USD with credit agreements signed for 16,4 bln., of which disbursed capital amounted to 10 bln. USD. Apart from FDI capital ODA inflows to Vietnam were growing steadily during the past decade and reached almost 1,5 bln. USD of disbursed capital in 2002. Now ODA constitutes almost 15% of countrys total investment capital and 40% of foreign capital inflows to Vietnam. The proportion of non-refundable aid now is less than 20% of total committed capital, the rest are loans at preferential interests. Classified by the volume of ODA commitments for several years in a row there are three major donors of Vietnam (of total 20 bilateral donors, 25 international organizations and 400 non-governmental organizations): Japan, World Bank and Asian Development Bank. These 3 donors provide more than 80% of total aid to Vietnam.

Nowadays more than a half of total ODA funds are channeled to infrastructure development, which mainly includes energy and transport.

The second half is divided in approximately equal shares between social sphere, institutional support and rural development. ODA programs are implemented on both central and local level. Now Vietnamese government as well as donor agencies are focused on decentralization of aid disbursement in order to make it more adequate for local needs. At the moment the most important task is to improve the process of aid disbursement, to facilitate all the related procedures and harmonize the coordination work between donors and recipient Vietnamese agencies.

So, foreign capital constitutes an integral part of Vietnamese economy and now plays a significant role in the countrys development. In the coming years Vietnam seems to follow the trend of becoming less dependent from foreign financing, but still the role of FDI and ODA cant be underestimated in the countrys future.



The author analyses new tendencies of relations between Vietnam and Russia during the period after disintegration of Soviet Union and all socialist system. This article represents a part of the generalized research of Vietnamese foreign policy from the late 1980s to the beginning of XXI century, aimed to reveal ways, forms and features of Vietnam's entry to the international relations in the post Soviet period. The author aspired to find out, how that policy corresponds to geopolitical and economic tendencies of the present time. It helps to understand the new concept of national security of Vietnam, as the major component of the development strategy of this country.

As a whole changes in relations of S.R. of Vietnam with Russia are still insufficiently investigated and even less publicly discussed in our countries. Present article aims to fill in the vacuum especially evident in comparison with former fundamental works of the Soviet researchers on the subject of Vietnam's foreign policy and mutual cooperation. The overview of the Russian partner of the character of mutual relations, its position to develop bilateral relations in new international context has received only primary generalization in scientific periodical press of the Russian Federation.

For better understanding a modern situation the author first of all estimates the basic results of cooperation with the USSR. Alongside with the decisive contribution of the Soviet Union to formation of an economic complex in the country he outlines serious mistakes in elaborating general strategy of economic development. This strategy did not correspond to real conditions and needs of Vietnam and has caused the most serious system economic crisis in late 1980s-early 1990s. As other reason of crisis is named cancellation of so cold ideological component of cooperation. Without this core component the relations between two countries has been collapsed, and then it required considerable efforts to restrain them from total reduction.

Certain revival of relations after several years of practically full stagnation the author dates by the second half of 90s when joint economic projects and top-level visits came into actions. Specifying objective reasons of this process the article notes first the formation during past fifty years of a strong economic bases of bilateral interaction. The factories constructed by Soviet Union in many respects formed the base for development of key industries and agriculture in Vietnam, have allowed to achieve main tasks of social and economic development. Secondly, Russia use to be in a great contrast with largest powers conducting struggle for strengthening of the positions in region and Vietnam itself. Vietnamese people have no syndromes or the biases concerned to Russia and connected to historical past or approach to the decision of international and internal political questions. Thirdly, dependence of Vietnam on deliveries of the Russian equipment, and also rendering of services in military technical sphere is kept.

All these factors, to the authors view, are quite favorable both for continuation of confidential political dialogue, and for constructive work in traditional and new fields of cooperation. At the same time, he recognizes, that a present situation in bilateral relationship, basically much more, than former corresponds to realities, needs and opportunities of the two parties.

Then the article characterizes the process and features of reestablishing and development of bilateral relations. Their stages, concrete participants and quantitative parameters are shown too. As the international politics in more and more wide scales serves economic interests of its subjects the states, big attention is given to economic aspects of cooperation.

Indochina: Trends in development The author supposes that renewal of Hanoi foreign policy was accelerated both by cardinally changed geopolitical situation in the world and the internal demands. From the late 80's the process of all-round reforms so cold doi moi was began in the country, especially radical it was in economy and foreign policy.

The article shows some new contents of relations in view of changed external priorities of both countries and establishing by them of market mechanisms. The reasons of why the Russian Federation has actually dropped out of the list of the core partners of Vietnam are revealed; some opportunities of overcoming of the arisen difficulties are determined. The author exposes concept of strategic partnership as new definition of mutual cooperation. Along with characteristics of different spheres of this partnership the basic attention is given to trade and economic relations, including export-import operations, settlement of a debt problem, realization of investment, scientific and technical projects.

The analysis made by the author allows to draw a basic conclusion that since the second half of 1990's the Vietnam-Russian relations gradually went out from impasse and critical situation. In his opinion, this trend confirms that the parties maintain interest to continue their multiple cooperation. The Vietnam-Russian relations unlike other traditional connections with the former socialist countries of the Central and East Europe all the same were kept from fullscale and all-round curtailing.

It is shown, that bilateral relations retain, basically, complex character, in many important spheres is still kept confidence. According to this view the author makes important conclusion about real long-term prospects of mutual partnership. Thus he takes into account the conformity of Vietnam and Russian approaches on the key international problems, and the presence in Vietnamese society of the wide strata sympathizing Russia and actively supporting further cooperation.

For Vietnam maintaining and widening of all-round contacts with old and reliable partner is one of necessary vectors of its foreign policy. Such need is dictated for Hanoi both by its goal for political, especially military-political balance of power in Asia-Pacific region and protection of the trade and economic interests. The parties, on the author's view, have not yet explored potential of cooperation created in the soviet period in trade, economic, scientific and technical spheres.

At the same time, the author makes forecast of possible evaluation of bilateral relations in view of change of a situation in the region and the world. He recognizes, that in present situation, when presence of the third countries in Vietnam becomes more and obvious, Russia hardly might return the lost positions. Feature will depend much on how the Russian Federation will be active and effective to operate here either in political and economic or in cultural and education fields. Outlining the best way doing the article recommends for a correct choice of directions and objects of technical and investment cooperation, terms of export-import deliveries, strengthening of a support of joint projects at the state level.


Vietnamese migrants in Russia: ways of living, problems and perspectives This article represents one of the first attempts to draw the general picture and characteristic features of Vietnamese migration to Russia, which turned out significant since 1980s.

: The author analyzes specific patterns of the formation of Vietnamese community becoming an important, but isolated part of Russian society. He gives his own provisional calculation of Vietnamese population here, an estimation of dynamics and the reasons of inflow of Vietnamese migrants (Vietkieu) to the Russian Federation, structure, interests, difficulties of life and prospects of their further stay in the country.

Statistics and conclusions given in the article arise mainly from the sociological survey (poll), made by the author himself in 2002 through interviewing 261 Vietnamese migrants in 3 main localities of their habitation in Russia (Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Vladivostok). Abovementioned survey concerned all illegal immigrants penetrated to Russia; it was organized and sponsored by Moscow representative office of the International migration organization.

Firstly, the article introduces the politics of Hanoi leadership in the field of manpower export. It stresses that Vietnamese community abroad is very wide Vietkieu live in more, than 100 countries, totally estimated by 2,5 2,7 million. Government of SRV encourages departure and work of labor force abroad in view of difficult demographic situation and a low standard of living of the population.

The author analyzes the attitude to Vietnamese migration in Russia too. He emphasizes that public attention to the problems born by this inflow constantly grows. However authorities have not yet developed a consecutive position concerning Vietkieu, process of immigration is not studied broadly.

The governments of two countries undertake feeble attempts to find together adequate forms for decision of migrants problems. In particular, the two parties are now occupied with launching of an agreement on cooperation in education and professional training of the personnel, which might create a legal basis of Vietnamese stay in Russia.

Dynamics, channels, motives and legal status of Vietnamese migration are considered carefully. Number of Vietkieu in the Russian Federation is estimated by 100 120 thousand, half of them live in Moscow. Last decade the number of visitors from Vietnam quickly grew.

However as a whole Vietnamese community is far enough from occupying a leading position.

The share of Vietnamese migrants among all foreign residents across Russia does not exceed 0,5 1%, and among the population of the Russian Federation only 0,069%. While comparing the number of Vietnamese emigrants worldwide anyone could see that less than 5% of them live in Russia.

Besides a small part of Vietnamese citizens, who is legally taking place in Russia (employees of the state, private enterprises and firms, students, etc.), this community by most part consists of immigrants, including those who refused to return home after termination of their study or work in Russia. Many of them actively accommodate here members of family and relatives.

The status of the majority of Vietkieu in Russia is contradictory. They have made entrance legally, having a service passport, the unitary or repeated visa. But they live and work here frequently on illegal or semi legal position. Meanwhile they keep Vietnamese citizenship.

Vietkieu could be named forced migrants, but not political refugee. Their arrival is caused mainly by economic reasons, positive aspirations. Vietnamese migration to the Russian Federation, thus, has mainly labor character.

Consequences of such illegal status are extremely negative. Vietkieu do not feel stability of their stay in Russia, they do not see long prospects. The extremely insignificant part of migrants plans long life and citizenship here, ready for investment of capital in improvement of own life and expansion of the business.

The author characterizes the abilities, life stile and social structure of Vietkieu. There are no any places of communal habitation of Vietnamese immigrants in Russia like Chinatowns. The majority lives in hotels, hostels, apartment of the firms, they occupy very rare Indochina: Trends in development buildings and apartments, which were rented or bought from local residents. Vietkieu are dispersed by small enclaves on the territory of cities, especially large towns.

The article stresses high competitiveness of Vietnamese people compared to other pretenders for workplaces as the reasons of their successful inflow and making business in Russia.

An establishment of various connections with local population (including marriage) and authorities is outlined too among the factors of success.

The author supposes the structure of Vietkieu community to be modified not in the best direction last time. Migrants of a new wave know Russian and local laws worse, have lower professional level, they are occupied mainly in trade, instead of manufacture in the past.

The social structure of Vietnamese community is similar to a pyramid. Rich businessmen (1% of total), among which a lot live in Russia for 10 20 years, form its top. Up to 5% of total belongs to the second, less elite group, which is serving to the first as managers, employers. There are enough students and scientific stuff among them. The third part, extensive enough (about 30%), includes workers loaders, carriers and other subsidiary personnel. The basis of a pyramid (2/3 of total amount) consists of small businessmen occupied mainly in trade activities.

Two last groups have no any economic prospects in the Russian market and will be steadily ejected by legal and administrative measures.

Describing business-making practice of Vietkieu the author stresses big changes to be occurring. The assortment of the goods is essentially updated; the retail trade in the markets is conducted mainly not by Vietnamese, but by Russians or natives of CIS countries, employed by them; trade activities become more and more civilized. At the end of 90s Vietnamese big private businessmen in Russia were already engaged in industrial manufacturing and rather large export operations.

Having accumulated the initial capital, the most successful Vietkieu have started other kinds of business: services, real estate, investment and construction. The author states an important qualitative change in Vietnamese private business in the Russian Federation the beginning of a transition from import of manpower from Vietnam to the import of capital and technologies.

Negative moments of Vietnamese conduct are lightened too. The life being and commercial activities of migrants often take place in shadow economy. Therefore it is accompanied by negative phenomena: infringements of a passport and visa regimes and a social order, unsanitary conditions of habitations, sale of low quality goods, payoff for officials and other swindles.

Illegal character of Vietkieus stay and business in Russia creates nutritious ground for activities of native criminal elements. The author cites documentary evidence, according which criminal gangs operate in the main places of community habitation.

Even those Vietnamese, who are not connected directly with a criminal case at all, show vigilance towards Russian authorities because of vulnerable position of Vietkieu. Such attitude is caused by numerous threats to their existence in this country, such as requisitions of their property by militia, constant testing visits of different inspections, tax bodies and local officials, trusteeship of gangster roofs.

Making conclusions the author notes that Vietnamese community, nevertheless, became an integral part of economic and public life of Russia. Therefore he recommends faster solving questions of Vietkieus stay and work here, removing bureaucratic barriers that restrain this change.

Objective research of all conditions and prospects of Vietnamese business in Russia helps to understand, that it should be recognized but put in strict legal frameworks. Thus we could encourage Vietnamese investments into Russian economy, strengthen an atmosphere of goodwill and mutual understanding.

Numerous tables illustrate the article.



In the middle of the 19th century Siamese rulers whenever they wanted it or not were pressed to open the country to the European countries. Siamese-Britain Bowring treaty of 1855 made the countrys foreign trade de-jure available for foreigners thus de-facto involving Siam into closer ties with European superpowers like Great Britain and France. Once opened for the entire world the Kingdom of Siam has had to choose its place and role in the world and region economy. Being surrounded by Britain and French colonies like Burma, Malaya, Laos and Cambodia the country has nothing left but to do her best both economically and politically. Obviously there was no way to win in her struggle for independency with Britain and France but anyway some chances not to be torn to pieces between these giants were still sufficiently high.

So political and economic modernization could be the only reaction to the challenges of the fast-changing world and Siamese monarchs namely Mongkut (Rama IV) and his son Chulalongkorn (Rama V) have decided to enter this long but promising path hardly realizing what was waiting for them at the end. In any case Siam would have never lost more than when she has started the reforms. The country didnt have enough space for maneuver so she could rely only upon her own resources and strong wish to survive.

The clear understanding of what to do was mixed with the lack of practical knowledge and reliable executors. Thats why generally right approach to the reformation process has led the country to some wrong results. Monarch refusal from foreign trade monopoly has raised the vitally important question of sources for the reform financing. The ruling elite understood the modernization as westernization so all know-how and technologies should be brought from Europe and only silver or pound sterling could be used as a mean of payment. So export of any products could bring such needed hard currency into the country and provide necessary financing of the reforms. Due to the coincidence of various circumstances just after 20 years of the foreign trade monopoly abolition the rice has become the main export commodity and for the next 75 years its share never has fallen below 40% of overall export volume.

At the early beginning of the reforms rice export revenues have been used as the main source of modernization financing. These revenues have helped Siamese government to undertake such important reforms like administrative, financial, and military. The abolition of slavery itself was one of the main engines of the reforms and in turn it has made a significant contribution to the export potential of the country, which has led the economic development for many decades. But the situation has dramatically changed as rice production has turned into nightmare and the main obstacle of radical economic reforms.

Siamese society has quickly used to rest on the laurels and spent out the fruits of rice export. The country has got into the trap of a monoculture economy: she couldnt break with her dependency on rice export revenues which was vitally necessary for the reforms and weak attempts of transformation to capitalism and the more reforms have been undertaken the tougher the dependency has become. The vicious circle has got its start in 1870-s and lasted as long as 80 years till the very end of the World War II. The country has truly become a raw material adjunct of the industrially developed countries. Any motion was evident only in rice growing, processing and export and even government infrastructure projects were fully designed to satIndochina: Trends in development isfy the needs of the increasing rice production and to facilitate immediate delivery to the world markets.

Along with the rice export three other commodities teak, rubber and tin accounts for as much as 80% of the total export volume. After the removal of kings foreign trade monopoly the ancestral aristocracy has begun to loose its positions in foreign trade to the active Chinese immigrants, which started to build their so-called mat and pillow capitalism at the end of the 19th century. As soon as before the World War II they have managed to concentrate in their purses the amounts comparable with the countrys budget and only small sums have worked for their new homeland well-being. The matter was that main financial flows were directed outside the country going to mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore. At the same time the domestic market was so weak and consumption was so low due to the self-sufficiency of the most Siamese households. Thats why no modern industries could be established as a sufficient amount of the consumers of their products werent likely to be found.

These two main reasons have got a crucial impact on Siamese economy, which couldnt even afford herself any hope for the best future. Monoculture economy was an unbearable burden for the country and rice export-driven development exhausted Siams people and nature capital. Such a development has limited average annual GDP growth during 1850 1950 to less than 2% while per capita hardly reached 0.1 0.2%. That means that most of the countries population has seen no changes from the country opening in 1850-s. Stagnation is the right word for the process taking place in the country with much more potential for the fast economic growth than any other country in the region and which has done practically nothing to change the advantages into the gains.

However even such a stagnation-like development has brought some use and Siamese capitalism has been born evolutionary and slowly. The forces, which later have leaded the capitalism break-through of 1950 1960-s, have latently collected their mightiness some 20 30 years before that time. Siamese Chinese and later Thai Chinese bourgeoisie has matured gradually from the beginning of the 20th century. It took them 50 years to be matured enough to fight against the old development paradigm and to overcome the momentum of half-feudal selfsufficient economy. Thailand has missed the opportunity of the rapid capitalism transition twice in the mid 1850-s and at the beginning of the 20-th century. She cant afford herself missing the third, probably the last chance. Strong political will and accumulated economic resources have helped the country to avoid being an outsider any more and to change the policy of reactions to the policy of challenges.

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