A newly drafted investment law – much awaited by investors eager to access Myanmar’s market – has been completed and will be submitted to the hluttaw at its next session. The much-improved draft goes a long way toward protecting the rights of people and the environment in Myanmar from foreign investments that may create and aggravate human rights and environmental problems.
On September 9, in a further step toward the elusive Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, President U Thein Sein convened a meeting of armed ethnic group leaders and members of his Peace-making Work Committee in Nay Pyi Taw. The meeting failed to agree on a timetable for the signing of the NCA.
By setting its minimum wage at US$67 per month Myanmar has positioned itself as a direct competitor to Bangladesh in the garment industry.
With Thailand often a gateway by international tourists travelling on to Myanmar, understandable concern exists about any long-term impact of the recent Erawan Shrine bombing in central Bangkok. The questions raised by would be travelers to hotels, travel agencies and reservation agents across Southeast Asia about safety are reminiscent of even more deadly attacks in the United States and Southeast Asia during the last 14 years.
The killings, detentions and disappearances of human rights defenders and tightening of restrictions on civil society across South-East Asia since the start of 2014, underline the United Nations’ concerns about the shrinking space for civil society.
Myanmar’s swift transition into the mobile era has enabled millions to easily access internet and each other. By skipping over the reliance on fixed line communications networks, the country now has a decision to make: will the new infrastructure be used to its full potential?
As the campaign for power gets serious, the chorus of objections, grievances and gripes gets louder.