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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     January 30,  2017  

China’s modern ‘Silk Road’ plans discussed at Yangon meeting

A recent briefing looking at China’s One Belt One Road strategy and Myanmar opportunities was held at the Rose Garden Hotel in Yangon.

The Briefing was well attended, with over 100 attendees from companies representing countries such as Japan, Singapore, Australia, China, Malaysia and India.

The briefing was arranged and coordinated in conjunction with the Australia–Myanmar Chamber of Commerce. It included an overview of the important transport corridors, the intent behind the strategy and the threats to countries such as Myanmar and Singapore.

The briefing was presented by business strategist Andre Wheeler, a regular contributor to Mizzima.

Mr Wheeler was upbeat about the potential for Myanmar’s increased economic role under this massive transport and trade programme.

When asked about this Mr Wheeler responded by saying:  “Myanmar has an important role to play in The One Belt One Road (OBOR), particularly when one considers the already close ties with Yunnan Province. The Yunnan province’s role in the OBOR is to co-ordinate, integrate the Asia-Southeast Asia economic region that is home to 600 million people and a market size of $2.6 trillion.In an earlier article written for Mizzima, I highlighted the importance of Myanmar in providing a west coast marine access that assists bypassing the Malacca Straits as well as the provision of labour for  manufacture (It is ironic to think that a country with a population the size of China, is experiencing labour shortages). Furthermore, it enables Myanmar’s participation and access to this market and opens opportunities not just in manufacturing, but shipping-maritime and services in training and education as well.”

Mr Wheeler added that the Myanmar Government would need to work quickly and coherently to streamline legal frameworks and reduce bureaucratic red tape as well as improve key infrastructure to make this a reality. The OBOR can be used to upgrade the likes of rail, road and ports, he said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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