Newly elected ruling party National League for Democracy (NLD) will welcome French Foreign Affairs and International Development Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in the latest effort to open up Myanmar to the world, according to The Diplomat.
Ayrault intends to strengthen diplomatic ties with Myanmar and ensure that French development efforts enhance the economy. Myanmar has been plagued by decades of civil war and has slowly transitioned from military rule to a civilian-led government.
The situation in Myanmar is a monumental feat when considering the brutal civil war and political violence that has stricken the land. Many business leaders grow interested in Myanmar because of its rich natural resources and rising status as a viable emerging market.
The Southeast Asian country has plenty of barriers to overcome, but opening up the economy to the world market is a step in the right direction, and party officials will continue to extend open arms to other governments around the world. Moreover, experts see growth if the current government attracts additional foreign investments.
The NLD has long campaigned on a platform of securing development and growth in Myanmar, much to the chagrin of military junta leaders determined to maintain the status quo. Decades of military rule closed off Burma to much of the world, hampering economic development in the process.
NLD faced widespread persecution when Myanmar was under previous leadership, most notably party leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Authorities in charge at the time restricted her political power, and she was barred from the presidency under constitutional constraints that prevent her ability to hold office due to her marriage to a non-Burmese citizen.
NLD managed to get into office despite the hurdles, but they still face certain barriers going forward. Even though the military junta relinquished central control, officials still hold vast influence within parliament, and certain companies may fall under the jurisdiction of military governance in certain parts of the country.
The military also holds vast sway over the business community, and NLD will have to contend with a decades-long entrenched monopoly system perpetuated by the former government.
Despite the triumph of democracy, the military rules from behind the scenes, and it remains to be seen how the new government will contend with hardliners that are skeptical of Myanmar’s new role in the world.
Further, Myanmar has an image problem to overcome and will have to do more to attract skeptical companies that are turned off by Naypyidaw's bloody past. With that, Myanmar currently has more than enough investor backing to build a solid foundation of success.