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. Continue reading

Roll Back China’s Influence

NAYPYIDAW/BERLIN (Own report) – The German Foreign Ministry is strengthening Berlin’s anti-China position in Southeast Asia, through a new training program for employees of several of Myanmar’s ministries. If one seeks to “roll back” the influence of the People’s Republic of China, Myanmar is “a very interesting partner,” affirmed a specialist on Southeast Asia at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. The German government is expanding cooperation with that country accordingly, and in addition to broadening cooperation on political projects, seeks particularly to enhance its economic influence. The EU recently lifted the economic sanctions imposed on Myanmar due also to German pressure. The German Ministry of the Economy is supporting new business deals. Critics’ indications that the economic opening of the country serves western enterprises and the local elite in the entourage of its military rulers, have as little effect as the human rights organizations’ protests, accusing the government in Naypyidaw of tolerating pogroms against the Muslim minority. They have been demanding – to no avail – that the EU take appropriate measures. Continue reading