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After historic elections, Myanmar transforms economy

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s popular prisoner-turned-politician and democracy icon, has likely won a seat in parliament after the April 1 elections.

But the harder work is about turning around the economy of the country, which is among the poorest countries in Asia after decades of conflict, mismanagement and isolation.

While many entrepreneurs who are risk-averse have yet to change their mindset about Myanmar — most still see the country as closed to foreign investment, full of obstacles and languishing under a military government — several businessmen from all over the world, including Philex Mining of the Philippines, have spotted big opportunities.

Quick changes may come over the next few years on rising demand for imported products, particularly from Thailand, as the people’s economic situation improves. For example, hotel rooms and flights are insufficient.

Suu Kyi’s miracle-working powers are expected to be flexed soon to address the country’s economic and social problems. Central to those problems are the military’s economic privileges.

Watch CNN‘s report, read Forbes‘ piece and BusinessWeek‘s analysis.

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