Commentary: Nalin Viboonchart
All roads from the West and the East these days are leading to Myanmar, and all eyes of foreign investors are focused on opportunities in this newly opened frontier country, but is it really right to jump on the bandwagon just because everyone else is doing so?
In the year or so since Myanmar’s political and economic reforms began in earnest, many foreign investors have been taking their first serious look at the country of 60 million and its abundant natural resources. Some see it as virgin territory ripe to be exploited at a time when decent opportunities are limited elsewhere, especially in the slow- and no-growth economies of the US and Europe.
Questions remain as to whether the reforms set in motion by President Thein Sein are sustainable, but every week he seems to win over a few more sceptics as the influence of hardliners recedes. His government’s performance so far has encouraged the US and EU to end most of their economic sanctions, while Japan is providing assistance in various aspects, especially financial.
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