Mekong Forum Looks at Ways to Promote Healthy Economic Zones

Economic zones hold unique health risks for both workers and communities, but they also offer opportunities to protect workers’ productivity and improve community health. Photo: ADB.

Mekong Forum Looks at Ways to Promote Healthy Economic Zones

Economic zones are growth engines of the Greater Mekong Subregion, stimulating economic activity and creating jobs. Yet, not much attention has been given to the social and health aspects of economic zone development until recently.

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Cargo and passenger vehicles cross the border on the Lao side of the Mekong River through the Second Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge, which connects Mukdahan Province in Thailand with Savannakhet in the Lao PDR. Photo: ADB.

How the Lao PDR Can Benefit More from the Economic Corridors

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic lies at the heart of the Greater Mekong Subregion and its economic corridors . However, the country has yet to maximize benefits from the subregion’s investments in infrastructure and services.

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Factory workers assemble electronic products at Savan Park Special Economic Zone in Savannakhet, Lao People's Democratic Republic. Photo: ADB. 

Health Impact Assessment Framework for Special Economic Zones, Explained

Countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion recognize how a health impact assessment framework can help ensure that both businesses and communities benefit from economic zone development.

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