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Posts Tagged ‘Burma Business’

22nd May 2011

Don’t Call It Burma

Posted by : admin

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that officials within the government of Myanmar have asked representatives from the United States of America to discontinue calling the Union of Myanmar “Burma”. In order to provide more perspective it may be best to quote directly from a recent posting on MonstersandCritics.com:

Yangon – A senior US diplomat who visited Myanmar last week was asked to stop calling the country Burma if Washington wishes to promote bilateral relations with the new government, media reports said Sunday. The suggestion was made in the course of talks between US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Yun and Myanmar Foreign Minister Wanna Maung Lwin on Wednesday, according to a transcript of the meeting made available to the Myanmar Times newspaper…

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click on the hyperlinks noted above to learn more on this developing story.

Those who follow relations between the United States of America and the Union of Myanmar may be interested to note that Myanmar’s foreign Minister recently noted the need for “Goodwill” between the two nations. To quote directly from a story recently published on the official website of The Straits Times, StraitsTimes.com:

YANGON – MYANMAR has told the United States it will not accept preconditions to improve relations, saying sanctions imposed by Washington remain the biggest obstacle to better ties, a report said on Sunday. ‘We would like to urge the US to build mutual trust in the first place and only then will we be able to frankly discuss ways of promoting the relationship between the two countries,’ Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin was quoted as saying by the weekly Myanmar Times. The minister was speaking on Wednesday to Joseph Yun, deputy US assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, in the highest-level meeting between the two nations since the advent of a nominally civilian government…

Again, the administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the hyperlinks above to learn more about this developing story.

It is this blogger’s personal opinion that relations between the United States of America and the Union of Myanmar are likely to improve in the future, but as meetings have only recently been initiated it seems likely that there may be some diplomatic “hiccups” in the early phases. It should be noted that the mere fact that these two nations are having these discussions is a positive development as US-Myanmar relations have been strained in recent decades. Meanwhile, the Union of Myanmar remains a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), an organization which seems to be of increasing importance in economic matters pertaining to Southeast Asia.

How the discussions between Myanmar and the United States will ultimately unfold remains to be seen, but for now it is at least nice to see both sides talking.

For related information please see: US Visa Myanmar.

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26th March 2011

Those following this blog with any frequency may have by this point noticed that the blog has been monitoring the crisis situation in Japan in some depth while failing entirely to provide any information regarding the Earthquake that recently occurred in Shan State, Myanmar (Burma). The administration apologizes for the oversight. To quote directly from the official website of the Montreal Gazette at MontrealGazette.com:

YANGON. A strong earthquake struck Burma near the Thai border on Thursday, killing at least two people, including a child, officials from both countries said, with shaking felt across the region.

Terrified residents fled their homes, tall buildings swayed and hospitals and schools were evacuated after tremors spread as far away as Hanoi, parts of China and Bangkok, almost 800 kilometres from the epicentre.

The administration of this blog highly encourages readers to click on the hyperlinks above to learn more about the recent Earthquake in Myanmar. This blogger was personally told by multiple Thai residents of Bangkok that tremors could supposedly be felt as far away from the Thai-Burmese border as Nonthaburi province near the Bangkok Metropolitan Area.
Unfortunately there is a tragic side to these events since the recent Earthquake has taken its toll upon the Shan State residents. To quote directly from the official website of The Irawaddy at Irrawaddy.org:
Local relief workers in eastern State Sate said on Saturday that the death toll from the powerful earthquake that shook Shan State on Thursday night could very likely rise to more than 150. Burma’s state media reported on Saturday that 73 people had died as a result of the 7.0 magnitude tremor and its subsequent aftershocks on Thursday and Friday.[sic]
Again, the administration encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks above to read the full story in detail.
This Earthquake’s human toll is truly disheartening and it seems likely that there will be political and economic ramifications from this event that could result in hardship for people near the Earthquake’s epicenter. In and of itself, the Earthquake in Burma is unlikely to have the same global impact as that which occurred in Japan. However, this Earthquake coupled with the economic and, sadly, nuclear fallout caused by the Japanese Earthquake could compound economic and business uncertainties and possibly contribute to what would appear to be increasingly rising commodities prices.
The Earthquake in Myanmar is notable in the context of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since Myanmar is a Member of that organization along with neighboring Thailand. It will be interesting to see if the recent Earthquake will have any impact upon the proposed high speed rail line that is to be brought online to connect Southern China with Laos, Thailand and ultimately the other ASEAN member states.
For related information please see: Asia-Pacific region or ecommerce.
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24th March 2011

The tragic situation in Japan (a country recently plagued by Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes, and finally Nuclear Meltdown)  is apparently causing other nations in East Asia and Southeast Asia to rethink their options with regard to the proliferation of nuclear power plants. A recent posting on the website AsiaOne.com discussed some of these issues in some detail. To quote directly from the website AsiaOne.com:

Singapore – Japan’s nuclear crisis is likely to prompt Southeast Asian states to look more carefully at their plans to tap atomic energy for power generation, the head of the regional bloc said Monday.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan said Japan’s struggle to prevent a reactor meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant will have a “psychological” impact on some ASEAN members.

“They will continue to explore, but I think the sense of urgency will certainly be contained a little bit,” Surin told reporters on the sidelines of a regional economic conference in Singapore.

The administration of this blog highly encourages readers to click on the links above to read more of this article.

Clearly, a disaster of the magnitude of the events unfolding in Japan can have a tremendous “psychological” effect around the world, but what is interesting about the above quotation is the fact that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a regional organizations that is becoming increasingly important in geopolitical matters, seems to be uniformly ambivalent towards nuclear power as of the time of this writing. Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Thailand, an important member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is rethinking its position on the issue of nuclear power. To quote directly from Eco-Business.com:

Thailand has frozen its plans to build its own nuclear power plants in the wake of the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan following a series of meltdowns at the quake-hit power complex in Fukushima.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban announced yesterday that the government would indefinitely halt all plans to build nuclear facilities in the Kingdom.

Again readers are highly encouraged to click on the links above to read more from this posting.

In this blogger’s personal opinion, this decision to “freeze” plans for a Thai nuclear plant is both prudent and necessary. The decision is prudent because it provides the Thai government and people the opportunity to watch the events in Japan unfold. This will provide the Thais with the opportunity to see the extent of the problem in Japan and this opportunity will allow Thai authorities to take a firsthand look at the possible dangers inherent in constructing and maintaining a nuclear facility. Such measures are necessary because failure to be prudent could be costly later, as evidenced by the situation in Japan. This nuclear disaster in Japan is obviously no one’s “fault,” but perhaps failure to take into consideration the fact that Japan, and the reactors present therein, is situated upon one of the most tectonically active locations on Earth may help to explain the nuclear disaster. At this time, fixing the blame for this tragedy should not be at the forefront of people’s minds as the brave Citizens of Japan struggle to overcome this situation, but evaluating the proliferation of nuclear facilities in the ASEAN with a critical eye may help avoid such tragedies in the Southeast Asia of the future.

As economic activity in the ASEAN region, China, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia expands it stands to reason that energy needs will remain an acute concern for the business community as well as governmental authorities, but such considerations would appear to be being weighed in light of the recent events in Japan, as well they should be.

For related information please see: business in China.

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24th January 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention, via the print media in Bangkok, Thailand; that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), along with other organizations and individuals, are calling for an end to the economic sanctions being imposed against the Union of Myanmar (sometimes interchangeably referred to as Burma). While researching this issue online this blogger came upon the following quotation from Rttnews.com:

An informal meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has called for the lifting of economic sanctions against the military regime of Myanmar.

The meeting, held on the Indonesian island of Lombok, made the call citing “significant” political progress made in the south-east Asian country.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, whose country holds the rotating chair of the ten-nation organization, told reporters: “We believe that the recent development needs to be responded by the international community, especially in order to ensure that the economic development in Myanmar can take place.”

He says ASEAN Ministers feel that the recent long-awaited Myanmar elections, which he described as “conducive and transparent, and the release of Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi warranted a positive international response.

The lifting of the sanctions against Myanmar still remains to be seen, but in the wake of the announcement from ASEAN the Straits Times official website is reporting that authorities in Myanmar are taking steps toward creating a stock exchange in Myanmar. To quote directly from the Straits Times website StraitsTimes.com:

BANGKOK – MYANMAR is in talks with South Korea’s bourse operator about opening a stock market, the latest in a series of steps by its military rulers aimed at drawing much-needed foreign capital to the country.

Korea Exchange is already involved in running the newly opened Laos Securities Exchange and is setting up a long-delayed stock market in Cambodia, which is due to open in July. Both are joint ventures with the respective governments.

In previous postings on this blog, the administration has discussed the unveiling of a Stock Exchange in Laos and the announcement that a Cambodian Securities Exchange is set to be opened in mid-2011. In the case of Myanmar, it would appear as though any plans for the eventual creation of a Myanmar securities exchange are still tentative as can be gathered from a further quote in the Straits Times posting:

A spokesman for Korea Exchange in Seoul said representatives had visited Myanmar twice. ‘But nothing has been decided,’ the official said.

Although the opening of a Myanmar Securities Exchange is not a foregone conclusion, there are many who can cite the myriad economic benefits that would accrue as a result of such a step. Furthermore, there are those who would argue that creation of economic opportunities in Myanmar would be beneficial for all Citizens of Myanmar based upon a sort of “rising tide raises all ships” logic. To quote further from the Straits Times:

Myanmar is rich in natural resources but its development has been held back by five decades of economic mismanagement under military dictators and by Western sanctions.

But reforms are under way. The authorities have privatised hundreds of state assets in the past year and are seeking to expand the banking, telecommunications, shipping and agricultural sectors. — REUTERS

Myanmar is truly a cornucopia of natural resources and economic opportunity, but at the time of this writing many nations, including the United States of America, have sanctions against this Southeast Asian nation which prohibit certain forms of commercial activity. There are some who argue that such sanctions actually exacerbate the plight of impoverished Myanmar Citizens. Such an argument generally postulates that easing of foreign trade restrictions, and the economic benefits which would likely arise from such a state of affairs, would accrue to the benefit of many of the market actors in Myanmar, many of whom live in poverty. Under such a theory, economic benefits would not necessarily exclusively accrue to the upper echelon of Myanmar as the less affluent would likely benefit, albeit indirectly, from the infusion of foreign capital, trade goods, intellectual property, and the further economic activity arising therefrom.

Even though a securities exchange in Myanmar may be merely in the discussion phase and is a long way from being created, those interested in doing business in Myanmar, or any other country in Southeast Asia, should take note of the information above as there are many who would argue that Myanmar will likely play a critical role in regional and global economics as well as trade.

For related information please see: US Company Registration, US Visa Myanmar, or Laos Securities Exchange.

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