Exit The Octopus: Myanmar’s Tricky Economic Transition

Exit The Octopus: Myanmar’s Tricky Economic Transition – Forbes, July 31, 2012
…Last year Thein Sein stunned China, and earned credibility at home, by suspending a $3.6 billion hydropower dam in northern Myanmar that would have supplied electricity to Yunnan Province. A port project outside Yangon, the commercial capital, is also on hold. Both projects were contracted to Asiaworld, a construction firm run by Steven Law, a wealthy crony of the former regime (read my 2011 profile of another crony, Tay Za). ICG argues that these cronies are losing ground, along with military holding companies and their patrons. A level playing field isn’t their way of doing business. Yet their efforts to resist reform appear to be in vain, as evinced by the downfall of the octopus. These crony capitalists must “accept a diminished role” in the economy, the report notes. Some are also trying to build bridges to Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition movement…

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