China and Myanmar’s SEZs: strategic partnership or can of worms?

Since coming to power in 2011, Myanmar’s President Thein Sein has distanced the country from its previously tight-knit relationship with China in favour of rapprochement with the west and Japan. Yet the past few months have seen a determined push by Beijing to re-engage Myanmar economically and politically, reminding Naypyidaw that it sees the country […]

Why Moe Satt Is Leading Myanmar’s Contemporary Art Scene

Sitting at an outdoor table in Yangon’s Chinatown, a plastic bag of fat, fried grasshoppers in front of him, Moe Satt makes a kissing sound three times in quick succession, summoning a waiter to order another round of beers. With friends he’ll sometimes do something different, snapping the middle finger of his left hand between […]

Myanmar’s e-revolution aids transparency, media control

In the new age of election campaigns, it wouldn’t seem surprising that the two most prominent leaders in the country, Aung San Suu Kyi, and former speaker Thura Shwe Mann, include Facebook and social media in campaign strategies for general elections on November 8. But in Myanmar, it is one more symbol of the dramatic […]

Almost US$20 billion in dirty money left Myanmar in five decades – researchers

KUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Almost US$20 billion (13 billion pounds) in dirty money linked to corruption, crime and tax evasion has left Myanmar in the past five decades, slashing government revenue and driving a thriving underground economy, a money-laundering watchdog said on Wednesday. Fraudulent invoicing of trade deals and physical smuggling of drugs, […]

Angelina Jolie on first visit to Myanmar

Myanmar’s House Speaker Shwe Mann took some time out on Wednesday to welcome UN goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie to parliament in Nay Pyi Taw. According to a press release issued by the British embassy in Yangon and reported on DVB on Wednesday, Jolie is visiting Myanmar for four days ”to learn more about the situation […]

Big Year for Myanmar Economic Reforms

: Myanmar’s parliament reconvened on January 13 with some 30 crucial proposed bills on the table, among them the establishment of a special economic zone law, mining regulations and the revamping of the foreign investment law. One thing was abundantly clear, 2014 is going to be a busy year. The stage for continued economic reform […]