Suu Kyi calls for investors to engage in Rakhine state

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Suu Kyi Calls For Investors To Engage In Rakhine StateMyanmar State Counselor and de facto-leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for investment in the crisis-hit western state of Rakhine on February 22, saying the world had “focused narrowly on negative aspects” in the state from which some 730,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled since 2017.

Addressing a Japan-sponsored investment fair in Ngapali Beach on February 22, she emphasised responsible business practices during her rare visit to the region. She, however, made only a brief reference to the conflicts that have roiled Rakhine and failed to mention the Rohingya, instead said that her government recognised the “grave challenges” it faced in Rakhine state and was “doing its utmost” to address them.

She then blamed the international community for focusing “narrowly on negative aspects related to problems” in the northern part of the state rather than the potential to uplift Rakhine through development.

In terms of investment, there are undoubtedly opportunities for business in Rakhine, a vast stretch of arable land covering Myanmar’s western flank, with off-shore oil and gas deposits and a long coastline. Much of the state’s potential “still remains untapped,” Suu Kyi said. There is, however, a significant lack of infrastructure which needs to be urgently addressed.

She trailed the promise of tourism, manufacturing and specifically the oil and gas sector as “one of the shining assets of Rakhine State.” Rakhine, she said, was “brimming with opportunities and warm and friendly people, all eager to be part of the development adventure”.

Participants from India, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and China were in attendance – the latter is building a massive port in the south of Rakhine and pipelines running through the strategically important state.

While Myanmar’s former military government stunted the Southeast Asian nation’s economy for decades, the advent of a civilian government under Suu Kyi in 2016 raised hopes of a turnaround in fortunes.

But slow reforms, a weakening currency and conflict have stalled economic progress. Suu Kyi’s image as an upholder of human rights has also been shattered by the Rohingya crisis, which the UN has called ethnic cleansing.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Myanmar State Counselor and de facto-leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for investment in the crisis-hit western state of Rakhine on February 22, saying the world had “focused narrowly on negative aspects” in the state from which some 730,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled since 2017.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Suu Kyi Calls For Investors To Engage In Rakhine StateMyanmar State Counselor and de facto-leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for investment in the crisis-hit western state of Rakhine on February 22, saying the world had “focused narrowly on negative aspects” in the state from which some 730,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled since 2017.

Addressing a Japan-sponsored investment fair in Ngapali Beach on February 22, she emphasised responsible business practices during her rare visit to the region. She, however, made only a brief reference to the conflicts that have roiled Rakhine and failed to mention the Rohingya, instead said that her government recognised the “grave challenges” it faced in Rakhine state and was “doing its utmost” to address them.

She then blamed the international community for focusing “narrowly on negative aspects related to problems” in the northern part of the state rather than the potential to uplift Rakhine through development.

In terms of investment, there are undoubtedly opportunities for business in Rakhine, a vast stretch of arable land covering Myanmar’s western flank, with off-shore oil and gas deposits and a long coastline. Much of the state’s potential “still remains untapped,” Suu Kyi said. There is, however, a significant lack of infrastructure which needs to be urgently addressed.

She trailed the promise of tourism, manufacturing and specifically the oil and gas sector as “one of the shining assets of Rakhine State.” Rakhine, she said, was “brimming with opportunities and warm and friendly people, all eager to be part of the development adventure”.

Participants from India, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and China were in attendance – the latter is building a massive port in the south of Rakhine and pipelines running through the strategically important state.

While Myanmar’s former military government stunted the Southeast Asian nation’s economy for decades, the advent of a civilian government under Suu Kyi in 2016 raised hopes of a turnaround in fortunes.

But slow reforms, a weakening currency and conflict have stalled economic progress. Suu Kyi’s image as an upholder of human rights has also been shattered by the Rohingya crisis, which the UN has called ethnic cleansing.

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