This chapter includes the following articles.
The second-most-populous country in South-east Asia, and the 24th biggest in the world, Myanmar has a total of 135 different officially recognised ethnic groups. Approximately 70% of the population lives in rural areas, and urbanisation is increasing at a rate of around 2.9% per year. The chairing of the ASEAN summit in 2014 is a testament to how far “the Golden Land” has come in a relatively short time. However, significant hurdles remain; political, ethnic and religious tensions hinder national objectives that overstretch its outdated infrastructure and understaffed public sector. These bottlenecks, which stem from decades of economic sanctions, are now being addressed by an ambitious government, which, under the leadership of President U Thein Sein, has taken critical steps that have reintegrated Myanmar back into the international community.
This chapter contains interviews with President U Thein Sein and Lim Hng Kiang, Minister of Trade and Industry for Singapore, as well as viewpoints from Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Chairperson, National League for Democracy; and US President Barack Obama.