Economic assessments

This page contains the calculated Net Present Values (NPVs) at the sector level, considering investments in hydropower, fisheries, agriculture and irrigation as well as navigation. This narrow perspective shows sector-specific gains only and highlights the changing relevance of these. Wider macro-economic effects are not considered.

↓ Scroll down to view the calculated NPV of each sector.

Note: The selected findings presented here should be interpreted considering the assumptions, methodologies and data sources of the Council Study. For complete assessments, consult the Council Study reports.

Hydropower

NPV of the hydropower sector* for a period of 24 years**


The economic benefit of the hydropower sector is forecast to increase in all LMB countries. Under the modelled scenarios, Thailand would be the main beneficiary of Lao mainstream dams and Viet Nam the main beneficiary of mainstream dams in Cambodia due to returns on investments and power purchases.*** Investment returns related to mainstream dams would also flow to non-Mekong countries, such as China and Malaysia.

* The NPV of the hydropower sector is based on the difference between the average retail tariff of electricity and the price paid to the hydropower project.

** The 24 year period approximates 2017 to 2040. For all the scenarios (2007/2020/2040), the same time span was considered.

*** It should be noted that current national power development plans of Thailand and Viet Nam do not anticipate the volume of imported power as considered in the Council Study under 2040 plans.

User guidance: You can interact with the chart by clicking on the legend fields or moving the cursor over the bars.

Note: The Council Study and Sustainable Hydropower Development Strategy use different methodologies to estimate hydropower benefits. The Council Study looks at the NPV of hydropower over a common period of time (24 years) under different scenarios considering the difference between the average retail tariff of electricity and the price paid to the hydropower project. The Sustainable Hydropower Strategy looks at the NPV of 2020 based on cost savings from hydropower developed under different pathways considering the difference in costs between hydropower and the alternative supply source.

User guidance: You can interact with the chart by clicking on the legend fields or moving the cursor over the bars.

Fisheries

NPV of the capture fisheries sector for a period of 24 years

The capture fisheries sector is likely to experience a substantial decline in economic benefits for the 2020 and 2040 scenarios. From a macro-economic perspective, the fisheries sectors in Lao PDR and Thailand are likely to lose most of their economic relevance. Overall, the changes to the fisheries sector through hydropower development are substantial and likely to change the market structure for fish throughout the LMB. To what extent aquaculture could provide relief has not been considered.

Agriculture

NPV of the agriculture sector for a period of 24 years if labour demands could be met

The economic benefit of the agricultural sector is likely to increase with the planned agricultural land expansions (including irrigated agriculture); particularly in Cambodia, but also in Viet Nam and Lao PDR, whereas in Thailand the agricultural land stays the same. For all countries, except Viet Nam, irrigation is also further developed.

User guidance: You can interact with the chart by clicking on the legend fields or moving the cursor over the bars.

Irrigated and rain-fed agricultural area under different scenarios

Irrigated and rain-fed agricultural area under different scenarios

* also covers areas that are irrigated in the dry season

User guidance: You can interact with the chart by clicking on the legend fields or moving the cursor over the bars.

Navigation

NPV of the navigation sector for a period of 24 years

2020 and 2040 plans increase the economic benefit of the navigation sector in the LMB. 2040 plans assume the implementation of the MRC navigation Master Plan. Viet Nam would be the main beneficiary, followed by Cambodia, Thailand and Lao PDR. Investments in the navigation sector boost cargo and passenger transport, especially in Viet Nam. Changes in total cargo value and passenger numbers constitute important flow-on effects for the broader economy.

Cross-sector comparison of hydropower, fisheries, agriculture and navigation NPVs

The comparison of the four sectors suggests substantial economic improvements for the 2020 and 2040 scenarios. This narrow sector perspective is only considering effects within each of these sectors, but does not look at economy-wide implications and how sustainable these sector developments are. The NPVs are calculated for a 24 year period. This period approximates 2017 to 2040. For all the scenarios (2007/2020/2040), the same time span was considered.