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Library Hunting for Myanmar's hidden treasure

Hunting for Myanmar's hidden treasure

Hunting for Myanmar's hidden treasure

Resource information

Date of publication
October 2014
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID

Ramree Island, Myanmar - Zaw Myint looked quizzical as he sniffed a handful of grey sludge. He had just pulled the mud up from the bottom of an oil well he's digging on Myanmar's impoverished western coastline, hoping for the sweet whiff of black gold.

"The money I get working here is good," Zaw Myint said, standing in a shallow pool of water that glistened with the sheen of oil.

However, Zaw Myint's success may soon change. Big Oil is hot on his trail.
Companies from the United States, Europe, Japan and Singapore are elbowing their way into the country they turned their backs on during the past two decades because of its appalling human rights abuses.

The country fell into China's less scrupulous embrace and, for two decades, Myanmar was the monogamous partner in a loveless marriage of convenience. Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests... In 2011, fearing the country was sliding towards Chinese client statehood, Myanmar began a process of liberalising the economy, releasing political prisoners, and rebalancing foreign relations.

As Myanmar took its first baby-steps towards democracy, Western nations eased economic sanctions. Last year, Myanmar's President Thein Sein met with US President Barack Obama at the White House, the first such visit by a Myanmar head of state in almost 50 years.

China is no longer Myanmar's only suitor; she's being courted, she's seeing other people. It's complicated...

Burmah Oil:

Myanmar is one of the world's oldest oil producers, exporting its first barrel in 1853. Its discovery by British colonisers prompted the creation of the Burmah Oil Company, an early shareholder of the company that would later become oil giant BP. ...

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Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

Hereward Holland

Geographical focus