State counselor silent on sanctions

The United States is expected to announce today an extension of its economic and military sanctions against Myanmar, with some revisions, in line with recommendations by the new civilian-led government, according to Western diplomats in Yangon and reports from Washington. Sanctions are also likely to feature on the agenda when Secretary of State John Kerry […]

US to renew most Myanmar sanctions with changes to aid business

WASHINGTON: The United States plans to renew the bulk of its sanctions against Myanmar when they expire next week, but will make some changes aimed at boosting investment and trade, according to several senior U.S. officials and congressional aides. An announcement on extending much of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, or IEEPA, could come […]

NLD to look West, but not ignore its tough neighbours

  Revered in the West almost as much as at home, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi may steer Myanmar’s foregin policy to a westward pivot to some degree, although the Nobel Peace Prize winner has already shown she understands the realities of dealing with powerful Asian neighbours. The importance of relations with Beijing was emphasized […]

In Myanmar on cusp of change, former junta ‘crony’ sees business as usual

Aung San Suu Kyi’s landslide election win might be bad news for Myanmar businessmen like construction magnate Khin Shwe, who lost his parliament seat and remains barred from doing business with U.S. nationals due to his ties to the former junta. Or maybe not. Sitting comfortably on a beige leather sofa in his plush Yangon […]

Suu Kyi’s focus on rule of law calms powerful groups as NLD takes power

Myanmar’s leading opposition party, the National League for Democracy, achieved a landslide victory in the general election on Nov. 8, and its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is slated to lead the new government. Are foreign investors happy with the result or concerned about the NLD taking power? Those who have already invested in the […]

Myanmar vote boosts hopes of lifting US sanctions if military accepts the results

The United States on Monday (Nov 9) welcomed Myanmar’s election as a victory for the people, and the vote appeared to raise prospects of a further lifting of US sanctions – provided the military accepts the results. While highlighting encouraging signs from Sunday’s poll, Washington remained cautious and said it would watch for the democratic […]

America’s estrangement from Thailand

The American public increasingly thinks of Thailand as unstable, a perception fueled by official criticism of Thailand’s politics. Although this criticism is partially driven by developments in Thailand, it is also a result of uncoordinated and reactionary foreign policy. A recently released movie, No Escape, features an American family desperately trying to flee from an […]

Renewed Sanctions Authority May Deter NES Implementation

US president Barack Obama’s recent renewal for a year of his authority to maintain sanctions on Myanmar may slow down the progress in implementing the National Export Strategy (NES), a senior official said. The United States eased broad economic sanctions on Myanmar in 2012 to reward its political opening but it still restricts business with […]

Myanmar: the battle to save the built heritage of old Yangon

Without proper planning, the city could follow the path of many of its Asian neighbours in losing its architectural character Yangon is at a turning point. Since the beginning of economic reforms in 2011, dozens of new hotels, office and apartment towers have been built. Many more are being planned, together with mammoth infrastructure projects […]

Burma’s capital: a super-sized slice of post-apocalypse suburbia

Driving through Naypyidaw, the purpose-built capital of Burma, it could be easy to forget that you’re in the middle of one of south-east Asia’s poorest countries. On either side of the street, a seemingly endless series of giant detached buildings, villa-style hotels and shopping malls look like they have fallen from the sky, all painted […]