Examines how the economic, demographic and cultural background of South East Asia is crucial to understanding the role of document supply in the region. Claims that, of the seven countries studied, only three have well‐developed economies and two others are beginning to show signs of growth. Two are still very under‐developed. The level of library services varies dramatically between countries and document supply hardly exists in some of them. Those which have national policies for information have included document supply in their plans. The international dimension is still very limited with potential for growth. Reports on how one country, Thailand, is taking major steps to create a document supply service which could eventually be of benefit to the whole region.
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