WHAT DONALD TRUMP SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MYANMAR
By Brian and Nicolas
Dear President-Elect Trump:
As people who respect democratic values, we congratulate you on your victory.
We are also aware of the wide speculation about your administration pivoting away from Asia. We understand you hope to focus on domestic issues. But we also hope that the US will continue to view Myanmar an important partner for you and your administration in Asia.
As people who spend a lot of time in Myanmar, and who hold dear the way Myanmar has evolved politically and economically, there are some things we want you to know about Myanmar.
- Democracy is vital. For the first time in decades, the people of Myanmar voted in an authentic election. It was truly a great event. We want you to know how special this is – and we want you to understand that the US played an important role in making this happen.
- Myanmar’s media is vibrant. There is honor and respect for the role the media plays in Myanmar. And while the press isn’t totally free – it has made amazing strides. A few years ago, censorship and self-censorship was prevalent. Today, Myanmar has one of the most open media environments in Asia.
- Optimism is thriving in Myanmar. In meeting people in Myanmar, you can feel the sense that better days are ahead and that the future is bright.
- There is great appreciation and interest for American products in Myanmar. US companies will see this country as a strong growth opportunity.
- Myanmar needs infrastructure. In many ways, Myanmar needs development. It is clear, the country is on the rise, and a businessman with your claimed construction skills would perhaps see Myanmar as a blank canvas. We know you have a global property empire. We would love for US companies to continue to invest in this nation.
- The people of Myanmar are special. They are welcoming, hospitable and will embrace business people interested in making not only a profit, but also a positive social impact.
We wish you great success in making America greater. And we wish you much success in building bridges (hopefully, instead of walls).
Brian and Nicolas
(Brian and Nicolas are both keen observers of Myanmar and travel frequently to Myanmar for business. They also have great appreciation for the way Myanmar has opened itself to the world and deep respect for the people.)