Myanmar President Thein Sein takes stock of economic reform policy | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 26.03.2014
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Myanmar President Thein Sein takes stock of economic reform policy

Myanmar's president has looked back at three years of political and economic reforms that followed decades of outright army rule. He praised the West for helping start the country's economic boom.

In an address to the national parliament marking the third anniversary of his presidency, Myanmar leader Thein Sein on Wednesday said the lifting of Western sanctions against the former state had helped his country reintegrate into the international community.

He cited Myanmar's chairmanship of the Association of South-East Asian Nations, visits by top foreign leaders and, not least of all, a flood of foreign investment as fruits of the country's three-year reform policy.

"Our reform process is well-received and recognized by the international community and they have been rendering necessary assistance as much as they can," Thein Sein said in his speech to lawmakers.

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He noted that the subsequent lifting of most Western sanctions saw foreign investments rise to $1.4 billion (1.01 billion euros) in 2012 and $3.5 billion last year, with ambitious telecommunication, infrastructure and industry projects continuing to be implemented.

The president noted that the nature of investments had changed from mostly resource extraction to those geared towards services and construction.

Thein Sein also said tourism was becoming a major success story, with the number of arrivals skyrocketing in recent years.

"The tourism industry has seen a record-breaking arrival volume, with two million tourists visiting in 2013," he stated. "It's expected there will be three million tourists visiting Myanmar this year and five million in 2015."

hg/kms (dpa, AFP)

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