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Myanmar courts investors in summit After freeing Suu Kyi

Just days after releasing Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, Myanmar’s military rulers have a message for investors with a steely appetite for risk: their isolated country is open for business.

world Updated: Nov 19, 2010 00:35 IST

Just days after releasing Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, Myanmar’s military rulers have a message for investors with a steely appetite for risk: their isolated country is open for business.

After entering a new era of military-managed democracy following a November 7 poll, the junta is courting investment and touting the potential of a country rich in natural gas, timber and minerals with urgent infrastructure needs.

Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein gave a rare speech at a regional summit on Wednesday in Phnom Penh to promote the former Burma’s business credentials and trumpet plans for an investment-friendly regulatory framework.

“We are creating a pro-business environment in order to work together to get much more business and investment in the region,” he said.

After decades off the investment radar, Myanmar appears ready to open its doors to foreign businesses, a step analysts say is easier said than done, in a country blighted by economic mismanagement and closed off by Western sanctions.

Suu Kyi calls detention illegal

Myanmar’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi said on Thursday that her recent release from seven years of detention was not a sign that the military regime is becoming moderate. In an interview, Suu Kyi called her detention “illegal” and said there was no other reason for her release other than that the period of her house arrest had ended.