This edition: Mainland Southeast Asia
Geographically, socially, and culturally isolated, the landlocked and still largely agrarian country of Laos is one of the poorest nations in the world. But modernization is slowly coming to Laos, including efforts to harness the enormous potential for electric power and the development of bridges and other infrastructure. The second case study visits Vietnam, which has slowly moved toward a more capitalist system since the end of the Vietnam War. The break-up of large cooperative farms into smaller individual farms has allowed for the more efficient use of land for growing rice as an export crop. The Vietnamese government is also developing an intricate irrigation system to make farming more productive.