News / Asia

Burma President Promises 'Second Wave' of Reforms

Burma President Thein Sein, May 14, 2012. Burma President Thein Sein, May 14, 2012.
x
Burma President Thein Sein, May 14, 2012.
Burma President Thein Sein, May 14, 2012.
VOA News
Burmese President Thein Sein has promised what he calls a "second wave of reforms" aimed at developing the impoverished country's long-stagnant economy.

Since taking office last year, the former army general has already presided over several political reforms, including the release of hundreds of political prisoners and allowing opposition groups back into politics.

He said in a televised speech Tuesday that the second stage of reforms could include a law on foreign direct investment, which he said would be passed in an upcoming session of parliament.

"In the first year of power, the national government has been speedily working on political reforms and national reconciliation," he said. "From this year onwards, we are working on a second wave of reforms which will focus especially on the development of the country and the public."

The president also hinted at loosening government control of several key industries, in part through the creation of a "privatization commission" that aims to increase private sector involvement. In addition, he said the government is working on laws on industrial zones and a minimum wage.

But he said the government would need international aid and investment to help achieve its goals, which include boosting economic growth by 7.7 percent annually over the next five years.

The speech comes as Burmese democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, continues her 17-day tour of Europe, drawing attention to both the progress and shortcomings of Burma's reforms since military rulers ceded power last year.

Monique Skidmore, a Burma analyst at the University of Canberra, says it is a good sign that President Thein Sein has chosen to make his speech during Aung San Suu Kyi's trip abroad.

"It's great that he's using Aung San Suu Kyi's visit as a way of drawing attention to Burma and then making clear that their goal here is not just the end of sanctions, which he has largely achieved, but now significant investment in Burma's economy. And so it's great that he's wanting to capitalize on Aung San Suu Kyi's popularity and the ability of people to focus on Burma now through their engagement with her," said Skidmore.

There were some concerns earlier this month of a developing political rivalry between the two leaders, after President Thein Sein abruptly cancelled an appearance at a Bangkok economic forum that both were scheduled to attend. Aung San Suu Kyi's visit to Thailand represented the first time the hugely popular Nobel Peace Prize winner ventured outside Burma after spending most of the last two decades under house arrest.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
June 19, 2012 9:10 AM
Thein Sein and Suu Kyi must duoly work things out for Burma in their "velvet revolution", a bloodless jasmine revolt.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid