Business urged to go back to Burma

Except now it seems more politically correct and common to call the country Myanmar, a sign of recognition of the country’s military leaders who are lifting years of oppression. Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, just back from a trip to the US, plans to return himself soon, after lifting Norway’s own sanctions against Myanmar over the weekend.

støre in washington

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre was in Washington DC last week and met with US Secretary State Hillary Clinton, who also welcomes the changes in what's now being called Myanmar. PHOTO: Siri H. Hollekim Haaland / Ambassaden i Washington


Støre said the Norwegian government was cancelling its earlier calls for Norwegian companies not to do business or invest in Myanmar. Norway will still follow the European Union’s sanctions against the country, which restrict trade with state-controlled companies.


Those sanctions look likely to fall soon, too, though, probably this spring. Støre said the Norwegian government’s decision to lift its “strong advice” against doing business in Myanmar is in recognition of the reforms being announced and carried out by Myanmar’s own leaders.


“Many political prisoners have now been freed and there have been important steps taken towards reconciliation and democracy,” Støre said. News broke late last week that government authorities in Myanmar also had entered into a ceasefire agreement with the Karen people, to end a lengthy civil war in the country country.


Norway’s policy change, Støre said, “is a signal to the authorities in Myanmar that the reforms are positive.”

myanmar
Støre stressed that the country needs trade and investment. PHOTO: UD/Trond Viken


Støre added that the country needs investment and trade to create jobs, development and reduce poverty. “Better standards of living will also mobilize further democratic development,” Støre said. He was in Washington DC last week where he met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who also has announced that the US will soon send a new ambassador to Myanmar and strongly supports the democratic developments in the country.


Norway has followed Burma/Myanmar closely, not least since Aung San Suu Kyi was denied her election victory more than 20 years ago and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to instill democracy and human rights in Burma. She has since been released from prison, too, and likely to take part in upcoming elections this spring.


Several government ministers and state secretaries have been making trips to Burma, which they now call Myanmar. Erik Solheim, the government minister in charge of foreign aid and development has been there twice in the past year, most recently in October when he once again met with Aung San Suu Kyi, who still commands great respect among the local population.

Related news

Latest news

USCG confirms OPtimarin in Line for Ballast Water Approval

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has confirmed that Norwegian ballast water treatment specialist Optimarin has become the first supplier to submit an application for type approval.

New order for Servogear

Servogear announces that they have received a new order from Brødrene Aa. 

Norwater AS reports boost in sales

The Norwater team reports of great interest and busy days in 2016. In a press release, they state that as of the first 8 months of the year, 2016 sales are already beyond target for the year as a whole.

Gaia-facts reaching ground control

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released the first data from the Gaia mission, which has the tremendous task of building the most precise 3D map of the Milky Way.

Polish delegation for Norwegian circular waste management

Against the background of the EU's ambitious waste management targets, Norwegian and Polish stakeholders met on Wednesday 14 September in Drammen.

Milestone at Mongstad Water Treatment Plant

SAR AS reports that an extensive upgrade to the water treatment plant at Mongstad reached a new milestone July. 

Servogear signs new contract with Özata Shipyard

Servogear has announced the signing of a new contract with Özata Shipyard in Turkey. The contract includes the delivery of Servogear Ecoflow PropulsorTMfor two 39 meter passenger catamarans (YN 41 & YN 42).

Statoil and Petrobras strengthen strategic partnership

Statoil reports that they have strengthened their cooperation in Brazil by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Petrobras.

TechInvent and Island Offshore/Centrica announced winners of ONS Innovation Award

TechInvent and Island Offshore/Centrica were announced winners of the ONS 2016 Innovation Awards, at the Innovation Awards Ceremony Tuesday 30 August.