Thein Sein Aims to Triple GDP by 2016

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, left, meets Burmese President Thein Sein in Naypyidaw on May 14 to discuss investment. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — President Thein Sein said on Tuesday that his administration wants to triple Burma’s economy by 2016 in a televised address which focused on continuing the reform process to boost development.

“Our government would like to try to raise up the per capita Gross Domestic Product by three times. In another sense, that means we have to try to make sure that our people are going to have better lives, and higher incomes,” he said during his address to Union-level members, chief ministers and other high-ranking officials.

Contrary to his last speech earlier this month, Thein Sein did not mention the recent conflict in Arakan State and Naypyidaw’s response. Sectarian riots between Buddhist Arakanese and Rohingya Muslims have left 50 people dead with the UN claiming on Tuesday that 80,000 have been forced to flee their homes.

In his four-part speech broadcasted on state television, the reformist president said his administration must relax its monopolization on certain industries to alleviate the budget deficit by making way for partial privatization in some sectors where the government currently has total control.

The ex-general said that developing nations do not possess a sufficient government budget to meet development goals alone.

“So, our Union ministers have to take international loans without any hesitation if the sector they are working in has profitable economic potential,” he said. “On the other hand, they also need to be careful when choosing investments that are environmentally and socio-economically friendly.”

In his 41-minute speech, Thein Sein revealed that the new foreign investment law has been drafted according to international guidelines and will be passed by the legislature very soon.

“Burma’s Special Economic Zone law has been drafted. After taking suggestions from departments concerned and business organizations, the draft will be submitted to Parliament,” he said.

Thein Sein said Burma needs to reform land management systems so that they are accepted internationally as there are currently different regulations that have little effectiveness on the ground. He added that reform could bring in regional development to encourage migrant workers to resettle back home.

Thein Sein also said that the government will generate more electricity annually and undertake joint ventures with private companies to cure Burma’s chronic power shortages by making various forms of private investments into long-term plans like in other countries.

“I think it’s a good idea for a president to let his people know openly what he is doing, how he is doing it and what is next,” said Maung Wuntha, the consultant editor of The People’s Age journal in Rangoon.

“But we also want to hear more from him about the raging civil war and how our country is now engaging with the international community.”

4 Responses to Thein Sein Aims to Triple GDP by 2016

  1. I would like to see a time line to the efforts.
    You can always talk about these things, but without saying when you are going to do it is just that – talking!

    Its over 15 months into their administration, a lot sems to have changed.
    But nothing has changed for the Myanmar person on the street.

  2. President Thein Sein should get nobel award for his good work done for country and people. I pray he should get nobel award.

  3. Thein Sein government going headlong for the purpose of catching up with the neighbours by inviting the foreing labour intensive jobs for the uneducated masses is unwise, uncalled for and dangerous.

    Apart from the upper military echalon feeling “inferior” to the iPAD weilding Cambodians and Laotians who they traditionally regarded as “inferior” to them, there is no urgent cause as Aung San Suu Kyi portray for them in Burma to sell out cheap labour of the masses. Currently, there is enough food to go around with starvation due to inequality and the basic necessitites are met for the majority.

    Ironically the disparity is going to get worse under the proposed scheme which will indeed increase ithe GDP and make rich people richer wiht some people going up to so-called “Middle class” which all around the world has been shown to be not so wonderful after all with the expected devidence not coming ou from taht class interm sof either for democracy or social well being.

    Why the rush?

    The biggest problem is Burma is NOT electricity or not having Big, Big buildings as Aung San Suu Kyi and Zargana stupidly stated. Or iPAD’s.

    It is the most wasteful military expenditure. And waste of human potential and resources in fightings, killings , laying mines and constanly on the run.

    And authoritarian mismanagement which is now going to get worse with the help of the “Democratic Countries” as they engage with not a shread of care about the human rights or desperately enlarging income disperity which will become a fodder for future violent social chaos, racial, religious or otherwise.

  4. Thein Sein is best president
    he should get nobel award for his work
    God Bless U mr President

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