Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Foreword

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Foreword

Article excerpt

Southeast Asia's economic performance in 2006 was one of the best since the financial crisis almost a decade ago. The better economic growth in the European Union, Southeast Asia's growing economic linkages with the dynamic Chinese and Indian economies, and a reviving Japanese economy all held promise for continuing good economic prospects over the medium term, notwithstanding a likely US slowdown in 2007.

On the political front, 2006 saw major change in Thailand and Timor-Leste. A military coup in Bangkok removed the Thaksin government from power and the new ruling elite struggled to find a political formula that would ensure stability for the future. In Timor-Leste old political cleavages resurfaced and erupted into violence that resulted in a change of government and UN intervention once again to restore stability. Elsewhere in Southeast Asia there was more continuity than change. Indonesia, the largest country of the region was moving on the right path to achieve political stability and improved governance under the able leadership of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, though more needed to be done to remove the disincentives to investment. …

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