Myanmar’s ‘goldrush’ lures foreigners

It is an expat “goldrush” driven by the promise of an economic boom after the rollback of many sanctions following the end of decades of junta rule.

However, some, at least, are also drawn by a commitment to help rebuild the impoverished nation.

The once-empty Western bars of central Yangon are now doing a roaring trade, hotels are fully booked and networking nights thrum with the chatter of new arrivals hungry for contacts in the city.

Every day, hotel lobbies teem with foreigners hunched over laptops as they talk via Skype with overseas companies eager to hire boots on the ground.

“Once I graduate, I’ll move here for sure,” Peter Morris, a 34-year-old US law student based in Hong Kong, said breezily during a recent week-long search for jobs.

However, the flurry of arrivals are not universally welcomed.

Some older Myanmar hands grumble about a type of cocky newcomer all too keen to hand out business cards and discuss pie-in-the-sky plans for the future, despite having little knowledge of the country.

“There are a hell of a lot of sharks in Yangon right now … people looking to take advantage of any opportunities they can and often not for any benefit to the Burmese people,” one long-time expat resident requesting anonymity said. “[There are] lots of opportunists with jumped up job titles that often don’t exist and ideas that will never come to fruition.”

Full article: Myanmar’s ‘goldrush’ lures foreigners (Taipei Times)

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