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11 Jun 13 15:40

Visiting Nay Pyi Taw for the first time was an unusual experience. The new airport at the new capital city sees just two flight arrivals per day - we arrived from Bangkok by WEF charter flight, charter flights brought the grand total to 4! Immigration officers stopped to photograph the queues! Roads from the airport were empty, no advertising board to be seen - surely a first for the Asia business traveller.

Transformational changes began a couple of years ago and Government officials were candid and transparent on the challenges ahead. They simply cannot move as fast as they would like eg on-line business licence applications cannot be developed under existing Company laws - those laws were written by the British in 1914 and did not contemplate the day of the internet! Such legacy issues will need to be dealt with one by one. In the early 1960's Myanmar was heralded as a highly influential Asian economy. After 40 plus years in the wilderness it exhibits a determination to become so again.

As a nation of 60m it faces multiple challenges in education (major skills shortages as a platform for growth) healthcare, economic reform, and humanitarian conflicts to name a few.

The unwavering sense of the debates and discussion at the Forum were "realistically positive". It will not be an overnight success. Foreign direct investment will come in a measured way, bringing skills at the same time. Progress can and will be made and a time measure of the Governments achievements will be reflected in election results 2015. In the meantime a consensus view of sustainable GDP growth of 8-11% per annum over coming years is established.

A (re)new(ed) tiger economy is on the way.

Martyn


Category: Other

Location: Myanmar (Burma)


3 Comments

Daniel Martin Eckhart - 13 Jun 2013, 10:18 a.m.

Love the description of arriving at the airport there - felt like being there. I remember a gazillion years ago when I worked for the UN and we were flown into Iran right after the ceasefire after the Iraq war was announced. We few Westerners felt like aliens arriving there, dropped into the middle of the revolutionary regime. It's brilliant to see that Myanmar is progressing into democracy, stability and yes, with that size, that population - they will without a doubt become a strong economic player in the region.

Paritosh - 14 Jun 2013, 8 p.m.

The moment I hear about Myanmar a certain nostalgia fills through my mind.... Blame it all on a song http://youtu.be/6gjRzQFv47c which mentions Dehradun (my hometown in India) and Rangoon (as pronounced in yesteryear for Yangoon) the capital of Myanmar.... Living in Bangalore for the last 10 years, I miss Dehradun so the moment i saw this blog, couldn't resist myself on commenting :o)

Burma (as Myanmar was called previously) shares a relationship with India and am not referring to Aung San Suu Kyi's time at Delhi University but British Laws as well, which shaped Indian laws in the beginning...

Its a beautiful country and I hope there will be someway that the process of evolution of Indian Laws could help in advancement of laws in Myanmar as well... and in a much better way!

Andrew Davidson - 19 Jun 2013, 2:10 a.m.

Progress I think is inevitable. Setting a time frame for certain milestones would be interesting. There has been encouraging progress on a number of fronts. Nay Pi Taw may be bereft at present, but so was Putrajaya in Malaysia a little more than a decade ago. Patience, optimism and continued candid and transparent officials will make reaching significant milestones easier.


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