This new research focuses on the increased cross-border flows of investment and commodities in Myanmar’s historically contested northeast, and how local communities, non-state armed actors, the military, and Chinese businesses interact in everyday life.

Key findings based on data collected in 2020-2021 show that:

  • Instability and conflict in border areas have led to underdevelopment and political fragmentation.
  • With the transition to market economies in Myanmar and China, trade across the border has intensified. Affordable Chinese consumer goods flooded Myanmar’s border regions, though trade is asymmetrical.
  • The boom in border trade has enabled Myanmar authorities to improve and expand transport and trade infrastructure into the border regions, though political contestation between central authorities and armed groups persists.

To read a 1-page summary of the key findings, click here.

To read the 5-page policy brief, click here.

To read the full research report, click here.