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Broken dreams: the closure of the president’s scholarship programme

Hundreds of students were left disappointed when the National League for Democracy government shut down a multi-million-dollar international scholarship programme set up to great fanfare in 2014. By EAINT THET SU | FRONTIER IN EARLY 2016, Ma Kay Khine received a letter that she thought would change her life. An Australian university had accepted her […]

Historian Gives Inside View of Myanmar’s Bumpy Journey

As Myanmar embarked on an uncertain transition toward democracy after the flawed elections of 2010 there were relatively few people in the country who could offer advice on the process of change. One of them was Thant Myint-U, a former United Nations official with experience in the war-torn Balkans and Cambodia, and a grandson of […]

How China gets what it wants in Myanmar

As Myanmar prepares for yet another round of peace talks with ethnic armed groups, all eyes are on China. With all the Western outfits involved in Myanmar’s peace process effectively sidelined, China has emerged as the only outside force that matters due to its substantial leverage over both insurgents and the government. Unlike Western interlocutors, […]

Myanmar Has One of The Lowest Tax Takes in The World

INSIDE a noodle house in central Yangon, business is buzzing. Customers huddle over tables, slurping down chicken soup or gobbling dumplings. Everyone pays in cash. Few customers ask for receipts. When your correspondent does so, one is handed over, complete with government-issued stickers. But the cost of the meal goes up. On the vast majority […]

Myanmar renews SEZ push

Myanmar’s special economic zones (SEZs) are a central part of a revitalised economic strategy in which increased manufacturing activity will play a key role. And breathing renewed life and energy into stagnant or stalled SEZs has moved to the top of the government’s agenda. “SEZs promote the transfer of technology, encourage infrastructure development and attract […]

Japanese-style visualized books make studying fun in Myanmar

YANGON–First-grade children here are finding studying more fun with Japanese-style highly visualized textbooks replacing their word-packed, picture-scarce old ones. The new textbooks have been adopted from the start of Myanmar’s new school year in June and are the first upgrade in about 20 years, thanks to a project spearheaded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency […]

Keeping Myanmar’s Lights On

Myanmar is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, with projected annual growth of 7.8% in gross domestic product for the financial year to March 31 2017, according to the World Bank. Only those who have not spent time with its overwhelmingly young and enthusiastic people — or those unaware of the vast potential of […]

Myanmar braces for 30% drop in foreign investment

Foreign investment in Myanmar appears poised to plunge roughly 30% for the year ending March 31 amid the absence of new oil and gas projects, highlighting the need for the government to lure other industries with deregulation and firm economic policy plans. Myanmar received about $6 billion in foreign direct investment during the 11 months […]

How Did Myanmar’s Reforms Change Its Relations With China?

I first visited Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in February 2013, two months after then-U.S. President Barack Obama’s landmark visit to that country. One thing that has been inscribed in my fond memories of the visit is that many street vendors in Yangon (formerly Rangoon) were hawking T-shirts with Obama’s headshot and a caption above […]

Myanmar’s toxic legacy of large dams

The country’s first strategic environmental review provides a chance to demand more from investors and dam builders, but is still being seen as too little, and leading to fierce resistance by marginalised communities. In September spectacular drone footage revealed the beauty of the waterfalls, rapids, ancient temples and islets of the Nam Pang River, a […]