“Citizens of Burma/Myanmar have ample justification for pride in the history of their country. The three major dynasties that have controlled what we know today as Myanmar have contributed much to world culture.”
—David I. Steinberg, Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know
First, the good news:
Consulting group McKinsey describes Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, as “one of the few remaining largely untapped markets in the world.”1“By 2025, over half the world's consuming class … will live within a five-hour flight of Myanmar.”It is neighbor to the enormous markets of China and India, as well as Bangladesh, Laos, and Thailand. Ecologically diverse and resource rich, Myanmar was once considered to be the richest country in southeast Asia and many hope it will be so again. This “land of pagodas” is one of the most fascinating nations worldwide and a mystery to most visitors, including some of its Asian neighbors.
Change is occurring at a rapid pace as Myanmar opens its borders to global trade. The European Union and U.S. have eased long-held bans on foreign investment there, which has created a blossoming entrepreneurial environment. Westerners are currently flooding the countrywith all the enthusiasm of prospectors during the Klondike gold rush, attracted by Myanmar's greenfield advantage.2
One political figure with whom people may be familiar ...