Electricity: Burma’s Missing Ingredient for Success
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Electricity: Burma’s Missing Ingredient for Success


By WILLIAM BOOT / THE IRRAWADDY Friday, February 10, 2012


Construction of Myitsone Dam project in Kachin State. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)
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Behind the euphoria that Burma appears to be emerging from its isolation and end its pariah state status in much of the world, there are lingering doubts about how safe it will be for foreign firms to invest in the country.

Last week, yet another economic study on Burma added a note of warning.

“Years of isolation and military rule have meant that infrastructure and institutions are underdeveloped,” said risk assessment research company Maplecroft of Britain.

“Corruption, a weak legal system and judiciary, continuing human rights abuses and a lack of protection for investors are significant risks that may take some time for Myanmar [Burma] to fully address,” said Maplecroft chief executive Alyson Warhust in the study.

“Business will have to monitor and manage risks in the country very carefully to take advantage of the significant opportunities that are on course to open up.”



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COMMENTS (10)
 
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kerry Wrote:
20/02/2012
Maybe the billions given to the military for the dams, and 'brokerage payments' and revenue from oil among other less palatable things can be used to rebuild the infrastructures- for people.

Maybe alternatives can be discussed after a 'real' by-election. I am sure the possible MP's including Daw Suu will have good input.

Why not solar?

Maybe business cronies may like to make amends, rather than pressure for more and speedy 'development' - for themselves!

I think China will do everything possible to get its dams.

The people have been patient. I think they deserve a say.

tocharian Wrote:
19/02/2012
China: Burma's Ubiquitous Ingredient for Corruption.

By the way, where is all the natural gas from Burma going?

Nay Wrote:
19/02/2012
Myanmar should start having a sensible energy policy. US's 50% of electricity is powered by coal plants. Chinese around 30%. The same for many European countries.

We should be realistic. Policy making is hard and should take into account of long term perspectives and interests.

Aung Aung Wrote:
17/02/2012
Ok. All you activists from foreign countries MADE this project stop, Now we are back to start, so now what? Who's gonna give us better electricity? All of you people in Bangkok, Singapore or USA don't know anything, all you guys do is talk and make Burma worse.

Hein Wrote:
17/02/2012
Was this article written by the Coal lobby? Yes, coal's cheap and abundant but it's definitely bad for the environment and the people living next to the power plant. I'm for economic development in Burma but not at the price of sacrificing the environment. There are better alternatives. Malaysia and Bangaladesh aren't exactly the countries we should be copying.

Yes, it's going to take time but remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.

Maung Aye Wrote:
14/02/2012
Great article. Myanmar has huge issues ahead of it.
1. Overpopulation, Health
2. Poor agriculture practice
3. Inferior education practices
4. Lack Infrastructure in Electricity, manufacture, telecomuncations and transport.
5. Poor Governace leading to all 4 of the above.

All you are suggesting in your article to use coal and gas will just take us down the same progress trap as in China and rest of Asia.

What we need is solar power, wind power, organic farming and family planning.

Refer to the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan at http://beyondzeroemissions.org/

Maung Maung Kyaw Wrote:
13/02/2012
I have said before that the suspension of the Myitsone hydropower plant is a big mistake. President Thein Sein and ASSK were badly advised by their advisers. I wonder if they are qualified in the first place

Although most of the power is for sale to China, the previous government have added a clause in the JV contracts to allow the government to buy substantially more power from the project if required, hence all is not lost (smart move).

The government should also revive the coal-fired power plants, as it can be developed quickly within 2 years.

Land prices have gone through the roof during the past few months with prices of prime land in Yangon and Mandalay even exceeding Shanghai. How may I ask, can industrial parks in Yangon compete with those in the region, bearing in mind the electricity shortage, unskilled labour force, poor infrastructure etc.

President Thein Sein and ASSK needs to be better advised. To begin with; don't believe that everything the west advised is good advice...

Nyunt Han Wrote:
12/02/2012
"I'm doing fine here in Naypyidaw. There's no electricity shortage here", says Than Shwe and his gang.

Nyunt Han Wrote:
12/02/2012
"I'm doing fine here in Naypyidaw. There's no electricity shortage here", says Than Shwe and his gang.

dlsingman Wrote:
11/02/2012
well, you got it all wrong. burma is made up of 7 country,the key ingredient is panglung. if burman is not honor, it going to be 7 countary you got it.

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