Special Report

Special Report (Vol. 60)

  • 2021-08-23
  • GDPC

Special Report Vol. 60 (2021)

Development Cooperation Strategies for Balanced Territorial Development of ASEAN Countries

Chapter I. Background and Objectives

Chapter II. The Evolution of Korean Territorial Policy for Balanced Development

Chapter III. The Status of National Territory and Categorization of National Territorial Development Strategies of ASEAN

1. Analysis Framework
2. Status of Urbanization and Industrialization in ASEAN
3. The Spatial Structure of National Territory and the Current State of Regional Development
4. Visions for Balanced Development and the Current State Territorial Policies in ASEAN Countries
5. ASEAN's Balanced Territorial Development Strategy Types

Chapter IV. Development Cooperation Strategies for Each Type of Balanced Territorial Development

1. Cooperation Tailored for National Growth Center Development Strategy
Cooperation Tailored for Regional Growth Center Development Strategy
Cooperation Tailored for Distributed Growth Center Development Strategy

Chapter V. Conclusion


The ASEAN policy documents showed that it is necessary to respond to the ASEAN countries’ present and future demands related to the unbalanced development issue. Through strategic development cooperation under the theme of balanced territorial development, Korea can help the ASEAN countries reduce the regional gap within each country’s territory and pursue the sustainable development of each nation and region.

This study identifies and characterizes the state of the national territory for each ASEAN country, and the type of balanced territorial development of the ASEAN countries is identifìed to establish an effective strategy for development cooperation. The territorial development characteristics of each country were identified by analyzing the level of urbanization in line with each country’s industrialization and distribution of cities of different sizes. The analysis results showed that there was unbalanced territorial development in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand with urbanization after industrialization, while Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Philippines have a high possibility of experiencing unbalanced territorial development due to industrialization without urbanization. The urbanization in Malaysia and Cambodia is led by the primary cities, and urbanization in Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines is led by mid-sized cities. Small cities with populations of less than 300,000 lead urbanization in Indonesia and Laos. The result of analyzing the location of cities in each country’s territory and regional gap showed that ASEAN countries had a single or bipolar spatial structure where the population is concentrated in large cities, leading to high regional imbalance and regional concentration.

In addition, we looked at the direction of balanced territorial development in each ASEAN country. Most countries include policies to promote balanced regional development explicitly or implicitly in their national-Ievel plans, and balanced development is on the top of the national agendas in Indonesia and Malaysia. Other countries appear to focus more on regional development than on reducing the regional gap. Finally, the type of balanced territorial development was set based on changes in territorial policies for balanced development in Korea, and the ASEAN countries were grouped by type. Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar were classified as the national growth center development type. The Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam were classifìed as the regional growth center development type, while Indonesia and Malaysia were classifìed as the distributed growth center development type. Based on the characteristics of each type, this study presents the policy instruments to be considered first.

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