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Economy

How Asia shapes up 20 years after 1997 financial crisis

Financial systems are more robust, but new risks abound

Bangkok's Ghost Tower: a lingering hangover from Thailand's giddy boom in the 1990s. (Photo by Nozomu Ogawa)

TOKYO/BANGKOK Overlooking the Chao Phraya River that flows through Bangkok stands a 49-story high-rise covered with mold and graffiti. Infamously known as the "Ghost Tower," the structure has so deteriorated under the harsh tropical conditions that its fate now could be demolition.

The 600-unit Sathorn Unique condominium project is one of the 300 or so major office, hotel and apartment developments in Bangkok that failed after the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Today, only a handful of those projects remain, standing as stark reminders of the economic chaos of two decades ago -- and how far the economy has come.

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