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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid