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Myanmar to reduce government role in telecom

In a widely reported speech, the President of Myanmar has announced the government’s intention to permit private investment in telecom:

Thein Sein, who took office 15 months ago after the military handed over power to his quasi-civilian government, said there was a need to consider reducing the state role in several key industries, including telecommunications, electricity, energy, forestry, education, health and “financial matters.”

“The privatization that is in the second wave of government reforms does not mean we are going to break them up and sell them,” he added.

He said the government aimed to triple GDP per capita by fiscal 2015/2016 and there was a need for more foreign help in terms of aid and expertise to boost the economy.

“If you observe developing nations, the government’s budget alone is not sufficient to achieve their development goals … that alleviate poverty and require international grants, aid, loans and technical expertise,” he said.

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