Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday urged the Myanmar government to carry out urgent judicial reforms to attract investments to the resource-rich country.
Addressing the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Thai capital Bangkok, Suu Kyi said Myanmar needed the "rule of law" more than legal safeguards for foreign investors. "There are many good laws existing in Burma but we do not have a clean and independent judicial system," she said adding that "without the rule of law, even good investment regulations would be of no benefit."
In her first international engagement after more than two decades of political isolation, Suu Kyi urged investors to be socially responsible and to ensure that their investments help her country to eradicate corruption and inequality.
"We do not want investment to mean more possibilities for corruption," the Nobel laureate said. "We do not want investment to mean greater inequality. And we do not want investment to mean greater privileges for those already privileged," she was quoted in media reports as saying.
The priorities for Myanmar are basic education and the rule of law, Suu Kyi noted. "We need basic education. There has been too much emphasis on tertiary and even post-graduate education. We need the kind of education that will allow people to make a decent living for themselves."
She called for a focus on vocational training, particularly for young people, many of whom are losing hope of finding employment. "What I am afraid of is not so much joblessness as hopelessness," Suu Kyi remarked.
Since arriving in Thailand on Tuesday, the democracy icon had a hectic schedule, shuttling between forum meetings and trips to meet Myanmar migrant laborers working in low-paid industries, especially seafood processing.
Europe is her next destination where she will address an International Labor Organization conference in Geneva and deliver a speech in Oslo to finally accept the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to her in 1991.
Suu Kyi also plans to visit Britain, where she lived for years with her family, and will address the Parliament in London.
by RTT Staff Writer
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