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A Conversation With US Ambassador Scot Marciel

On March 8, The Irrawaddy’s editorial team invited US Ambassador Scot Marciel to our office in Yangon to participate in a conversation on a range of issues, particularly the many challenges Myanmar is facing. The ambassador offered his frank views in response to questions from senior editors. Here are excerpts from the interview: The Irrawaddy: […]

First Tourists Arrive on New Free-Visa System, 21 Western Countries to be Added

As an initial phase of implementing its new tourism strategy, the tourism ministry launched a free-visa system for tourists from Japan, South Korean and China’s Hong Kong and Macau on Monday. The move is likely to be followed in the coming years by the lifting of visa requirements for citizens of another 21 countries—especially western […]

How Prepared Is Myanmar To Counter Terror Attacks?

Concern is growing about possible terrorist attacks in Myanmar, and questions are being asked about the government’s ability to counter such threats. We are not talking about the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) terrorists who provoked retaliatory operations from the military by staging attacks against security forces, innocent civilians, ethnic tribespeople and Hindus in northern […]

Myanmar better off in good graces with the West

Two developments stood out in Myanmar’s international relations landscape in 2017: The increasing Chinese influence in the country and the immense diplomatic pressure from international community on the government’s handling of the Rakhine crisis. Analysts cautioned Myanmar against overdependence on China for its development and urged the country to mend ties with the West to […]

Bumpy Ride for Tourism Seen in 2018

The tourism industry this year went beyond expectations despite the sudden outbreak of violence in the northern Rakhine State that gave the country a negative image, but the sector is expected to face a more challenging environment next year. Tourist arrivals in the first 11 months this year was 20 per cent higher compared with the […]

Myanmar Says U.S. Sanctions Against General Based on ‘Unreliable Accusations’

(Reuters) – Myanmar “feels sad” over a U.S. decision to sanction a military general, a government spokesman said, after Washington linked the commander last week to abuses against the Rohingya Muslim minority. “This targeted sanction is based on unreliable accusations without evidence, as we have repeatedly said, so we feel sad for that,” Zaw Htay, […]

DICA Advocates for Investment in Conflict Zones

By the end of the month, the Myan­mar Investment Commission will open a branch office in Sittwe to “provide a solution to re­gional conflict,” U Than Aung Kyaw, Deputy Di­rector General of Direc­torate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) told Myanmar Business Today. Both the Union and State governments have expressed their desire to achieve […]