Myanmar’s chairmanship of Asean, which began in January, will become an open display of its progress on national economic and political reforms. Nay Pyi Taw’s hosting of the regional bloc has the potential to improve the country’s international reputation, national economy and domestic reconciliation efforts.
After emerging from international-pariah status, Myanmar sees taking the Asean helm as an opportunity to demonstrate its reformist credentials and as a platform to re-engage the global community. The nation’s chance comes after almost 50 years locked in the grip of a fierce and repressive military regime that paid little attention to international criticism.
However, under the leadership of a quasi-civilian government, it has stepped onto a path towards substantial reforms, including a loosening of the political system, press freedom and economic liberalisation. This has not only convinced Nay Pyi Taw’s Asean neighbours, but has also managed to woo major powers including the United States into easing sanctions.
… Eliane Coates is a senior analyst at the Centre of Excellence for National Security at the Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
Last updated on 30/11/-0001