The National League for Democracy

Burma has been called Asia’s ‘final frontier’ and rightly so. There are many reasons why the world is looking at the tremendous potential and growth opportunities that Burma has to offer. This has been noticed even from the unprofessional traders who use Orion Code. With its basic infrastructure problems and current economic scenario, some tough and effective measures are required for this country to stage a turnaround.

Burma has a young and cheap workforce and this is one factor that could help in the process of economic growth. It also has a long coastline and abundant land that is perfect for various agricultural activities. It has an ideal location since it is located between the massive markets of India, China and Southeast Asia. There are a lot of expatriate Burmese who are returning to their homeland and they are coming back professional expertise and a lot of enthusiasm.

Let us look at the major sectors that can be the key for the development of Burma.

Telecom

Burma is probably one of world’s last markets that have been left untapped. Less than 10% of their population uses mobile phones. This shows the huge potential this market has. The Internet has also become more accessible to the Burmese people due to the government and its principle of democracy.

The government has started the liberalization of the telecom sector. They are allowing international firms to form joint ventures with local companies.

Some of the opportunities in this sector are as follows:

  • Construction of mobile towers
  • Roll-out of public Wi-Fi over a large area such as airport, hotel, downtown, subway etc.
  • Internet Service Providers
  • Engineering, laying and installation of Optical Fiber in residential, commercial and industrial zones.

Energy:

Majority of the population in Burma does not have access to electricity. In this scenario, there is a growing demand for electricity. The private sector faces tough and serious challenges in this industry but it also means that the scope for growth is limitless.

  • Some of the opportunities in this sector are as follows:
  • Upgrading the power infrastructure present in urban areas and industrial zones.
  • Constructing medium to large-scale hydro and gas fired power plants. This should be done as a public-private partnership.
  • Setting up small-scale hydro-power projects to supply areas such as villages.
  • Establishing solar energy farms and wind farms.
  • Providing efficient and practical solar power kits and solar power solutions. This is for communities who are currently off grid.
  • Major infrastructure

Every country needs a good system of major infrastructure such as good ports, road, air and rail systems. With an emerging economy like Burma, there is a huge demand for infrastructural development. If the telecom and logistics infrastructure is underdeveloped, it is a huge challenge to businesses since they all depend on it.

Some of the opportunities in this sector are as follows:

  • Building transportation systems such as airports, seaports, rail, road and bridges.
  • Planning building and management of urban areas as well as special economic zones.
  • Building of logistics infrastructure.
  • Establishing and retrofitting of industrial parks as well as their supportive infrastructure.
  • Building of affordable housing in major and second tier cities in all states.
  • Restoring colonial heritage buildings.

Tourism

A boost in tourism for any country is possible only with world-class facilities and infrastructure. Factors such as limited hotel rooms, logistical capacity and coverage or an underdeveloped banking system are major deterrents to the growth possibilities. The government has developed a long-term plan in this sector.

Some of the opportunities in this sector are as follows:

  • Investing in a world-class hotel.
  • Investments in activities related to transport services such as limousines and tour buses.
  • Investments in novelty programs related to tourism such as river cruises, hot air balloons etc.
  • Building of tourism based on culture and community such as developing shops, which sell artifacts, produced locally.
  • Developing Eco-tourism by building eco friendly hotels along with activities like trekking tours etc.

These are only a few ideas that businesses can explore in Burma. With immense freedom and an emerging market like Burma, the possibilities are endless.

The NLD is Burma’s leading political party.   The NLD won over 80 per cent of the seats in Burma’s 1990 Parliamentary elections but has not yet been allowed to seat a government.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is the General Secretary of National League for Democracy and the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

Read what the NLD is saying:
  • NLD Press Statements from 1999 (available in English and  Burmese)
  • NLD Statements prior to 1999
  • Speeches by Aung San Suu Kyi

 

In a move toward convening the full Parliament, the NLD and several smaller parties have formed an executive committe called the: The Committee Representing the People’s Parliament.

At present, the military regime is mounting a concerted effort to crush the NLD by arresting and harassing its members.   Read analysis of: The regime’s attempt to crush the NLD