Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi meets President Thein Sein; Japan to help country set up stock exchange

Updated On: Apr 12, 2012

Pro-democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi met President Thein Sein for the first time yesterday since her party won a landslide victory at the early April by-elections. Meanwhile, two Japanese bodies have agreed to help Myanmar set up a security exchange by 2015.

Ms. Suu Kyi’s meeting with the president

The first time Ms. Suu Kyi met President Thein Sein was in August 2011, while the government begin embarking on a series of reforms that included welcoming Ms. Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, back into the political mainstream.

However, the meeting that took place yesterday was the first between the two since the by-elections that took place earlier this month. According to Ms. Suu Kyi, she was “satisfied” with the “good” meeting. And while she declined to reveal what the discussions entailed, her aide Khun Tha Myint said that the two figures discussed Ms. Suu Kyi’s new parliamentary role, how they could cooperate “in the interests of the nation” and how to secure a peace process with ethnic rebels.

Ms. Suu Kyi had previously said she considers President Thein Sein as trustworthy, despite him being a heavyweight in the military junta that ruled the country for almost half a century. She also said that she believes that he is sincere about pursing democratic reforms, although it is not clear whether he has the total support of the military.

The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate is set to take her seat in the lower house of parliament on April 23. Her party, which won 43 out of 45 available seats in the election, also has 37 members due to take their seats in parliament on the same day. However, NLD has said pointed out that the mandatory oath taken by new members of parliament requires them to safeguard the constitution, which they do not agree with. The party has warned that its elected candidates may not attend the parliament session that day should the wording of the oath remain unchanged.

Report: Suu Kyi meets Myanmar president as MPs dispute oath [Reuters, 11 April 2012]

Report: Newly elected Suu Kyi meets Myanmar president [AFP, 11 April 2012]

Myanmar will have a new stock exchange by 2015

Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and Daiwa Securities Group announced yesterday that they have received approval to work with Myanmar’s central bank to establish a new stock exchange by 2015. Although Myanmar has an existing Securities Exchange that was set up in 1996, it has since only attracted two listings. However, following the series of reforms that began last year, the government hopes to open up its economy and attract more foreign investors.

The TSE hopes that, “by establishing Myanmar’s first stock exchange… [it] will be able to contribute to developing capital markets in the country”. It plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Daiwa Institute of Research and Myanmar by mid-May.

All Nippon Airways, Japan’s largest airline, has also said that it would soon resume regular flights to Myanmar for the first time in 12 years.

Report: Myanmar to set up securities exchange with Japan’s help [Reuters, 11 April 2012]

Report: Burma stock exchange planned by Tokyo Bourse [BBC, 11 April 2012]

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