News / Asia

Clinton, Thein Sein Encourage New US Investment in Burma

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, and Burma President Thein Sein shake hands before a meetingin Siem Reap, Cambodia, July 13, 2012.U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, and Burma President Thein Sein shake hands before a meetingin Siem Reap, Cambodia, July 13, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, and Burma President Thein Sein shake hands before a meetingin Siem Reap, Cambodia, July 13, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, and Burma President Thein Sein shake hands before a meetingin Siem Reap, Cambodia, July 13, 2012.
SIEM REAP, Cambodia — U.S.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Burmese President Thein Sein met in Cambodia to encourage new U.S. investments in Burma. They also discussed ongoing political reforms in Burma and the country's military ties with North Korea.

Secretary Clinton told the Burmese leader that she is sending a high-power delegation of more than 70 American business leaders to his country now that Washington has eased restrictions on investments and financial services in recognition of ongoing political reforms.

"This week has been a milestone in the relationship between our two countries," Clinton said.  "Just two days ago, President Obama announced that the United States is easing restrictions, to allow more U.S. companies to do business there. And a few months ago in Washington, I urged American businesses to invest and to do it responsibly."

Secretary Clinton and President Thein Sein met for more than an hour ahead of a business forum meant to encourage greater U.S. investment in Southeast Asia.

President Thein Sein welcomed that investment, saying his country is at a crucial juncture. Myanmar, as the military renamed Burma, is putting an end to armed conflict, he says, and is engaging with entrepreneurs, ethnic leaders, and civil society.

"Today, after nearly half a century, Myanmar has embarked on a democratic path in building a new nation through peaceful transition," said Thein Sein.

Thein Sein adds thats democratic practices had vanished from the country for many years, so building a democratic state is the biggest challenge for his people.

"We have also permitted the formation of political parties [and] civil societies in accord with the existing laws," Thein Sein explained.  "We have already enacted necessary laws that would protect the fundamental rights of our citizens such as formation of labor unions and to enjoin freedom of assembly and freedom of speech."

In their private talks, Secretary Clinton thanked the Burmese leader for the recent release of political prisoners and encouraged him to release them all.

She urged Burma to end its military relationship with North Korea. President Thein Sein said his country has no nuclear relationship with North Korea and is reviewing its military ties with Pyongyang.

A senior U.S. official says the secretary and president discussed using Burma's mineral wealth to benefit its people. President Thein Sein said he is focusing on value-added industries. His country exports teak, for example, but not finished teak furniture. Burma exports rubber, but imports tires.

Secretary Clinton and President Thein Sein were joined at the business forum by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

You May Like

Caution Urged as Myanmar Poised to Embrace More Mining

New mining laws expected to entice more foreign investment, but rights groups fear local communities could be imperiled without more solid legal protections More

Video Garbage Piles Up in Beirut After Landfill Closes

City’s streets clog with piles of rubbish as politicians and waste management companies trade barbs and point fingers More

Audio 50 Years Ago, Dylan Goes 'Electric'

Singer-songwriter took the stage at the Newport Folk Festival and delivered a performance that got him booed – and also helped change the direction of music More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Mohd Khan from: delhi India
July 17, 2012 7:13 AM
Mrs hillary clinton, you don't know burma's muslims

by: Tanganika Chalfant from: Orlando FL
July 14, 2012 4:15 PM
Secretary Clinton is doing a fantastic job in a high pressure position. My husband says that she is his hero as my husband is a Wounded Warrior awaiting Brain Surgery. He encourages her to continue the battles for the lives of the innocent. We thank you so much for being one of the best Secretary of States that America has ever known.

by: Khmerpeople from: Cambodia
July 14, 2012 12:37 AM
Uncle Sam, please don't only enjoy Business but must check the plight of Rohingya people and check the Dictator, one-eye, Hunsen too. Please help to raise the ordeal of oppressed Cambodian people, please help to bring back Khmer Hero, Sam Rangsy as soon as possible. Be careful one-eye man, Hunsen will stampede your feet because he cannot see the east side. Thanks American for your contributions to world peace.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continuesi
John Owens
July 24, 2015 5:19 PM
After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

Video Kenya Rolls Out Red Carpet for President Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in Kenya Friday for the start of a two-day visit to discuss trade and security. Kenyans hope to capitalize on Mr. Obama’s first visit to the country as president. VOA East Africa correspondent Gabe Joselow reports from Nairobi.

Video Trump Woos Hispanics at US Southern Border

Donald Trump's offensive remarks about some Mexican immigrants have sparked outrage in the Hispanic and Latino community. But during a visit to the southern U.S. border in Texas Thursday, the New York real estate tycoon and Republican presidential hopeful said news media have misinterpreted his statements, which he said were targeting illegal immigration. Zlatica Hoke has more.

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.

Video Kurdish Anger Erupts Over Suicide Bombing

Protests continue for a second day in Turkey, as Kurds and others demonstrated against Monday's devastating suicide blast that killed 31 people in the south of the country. VOA Kurdish service reporter Salih Turan in Istanbul and VOA Turkish service reporter Umut Colak in Suruc have more, in this report narrated by Bill Rodgers.

Video Rise in HIV Infections Worries Ugandan Officials

Uganda had the third-highest number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa last year, reversing its reputation for successfully tackling the epidemic in the 1990s. Although the percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS is still half of what it was in the 1980s, the increase in new infections is worrying to health workers. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.

Video US Farmers Welcome Diplomatic Relations With Cuba

As the United States and Cuba open embassies and normalize diplomatic relations after nearly five decades, the move is seen as an important step in improving the overall relationship between two, once openly-hostile neighbors in the Western Hemisphere. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, for those looking to improve business and trade ties, the ultimate goal is ending the U.S. economic embargo.

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs