After over 20 years of sanctions and international pariah status, Myanmar has begun to come in from the cold. Japan has always taken its own approach to Myanmar, following a “carrot and stick” method throughout the 1990s and 2000s. It also cultivated a widely held perception that Japan has invested heavily in Myanmar since its independence, and now it’s time to reap the benefits.
Newly democratic Myanmar is all set to launch its 21st-century Panglong Conference on August 31. State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has stressed that her government is keen to make it as inclusive as possible.
This month the newly elected Myanmar government released its economic policy and announced that it will seek to attract even more foreign investment than under previous administrations. But the new policy did not outline how it will ensure that foreign investment will contribute to the protection of human rights and sustainable development.
President U Htin Kyaw began a four-day trip to India on August 27 accompanied by his wife, Daw Su Su Lwin, several key ministers and senior officials. This is the president’s first state visit to the neighbouring country, and his arrival presents a critical opportunity for India to cement closer ties.
Myanmar 's new government sometimes seems overwhelmed with challenges. But while the challenges regularly make headlines, the country’s move to reform its national police and improve the rule of law is a hopeful step forward. The international community should recognise the value of these efforts and look for ways to expand support to the police.
On July 24, the Myanmar-language state newspaper The Mirror published an interesting editorial about the suspended and controversial Myitsone mega-hydropower project (US$3.6 billion) in Kachin State.