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Modern business center opens in Ran

Subject: Modern business center opens in Rangoon

UPI  01/21 0513  Modern business center opens in Rangoon

RANGOON (UPI) -- Burma, which cut itself off from foreign business for 
nearly three decades, has opened a state-of-the-art international
business center in Rangoon.
   Built by the Turnkey Contract Co. Ltd. of Singapore and owned by Burma's
Forestry Ministry, the four-story, 42,000 sq.  ft. (3,900 sq. mt. ) center hasroom for 33 offices and a multi-purpose hall.  It also has 150 international
direct-dial phone lines and will be equipped with telex and fax facilities.
   Ruled by a series of xenophobic, socialist military governments since 1962,
Burma discouraged private business and prohibited foreign investment.
   However, the current military government is courting foreign investment 
and liberalizing the country's socialist economic policies.
   In a concession to tradition, an official astrologer presided over
theInternational Business Center's opening at the auspicious time of 7:32
   The ceremony was attended by government leaders including military strongmen
Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt and Tin Oo. Also attending the ceremony were Deputy Prime
Ministers Lt. Gen. Tin Tun and Vice-Admiral Maung Maung Khin.
   On Thursday evening, Forestry Minister Lt. Gen. Chit Swe held a reception
atthe center, which is located in the northern part of the city with a
commandingview of Inya Lake.
   Minister Chit Swe said the center will be available for long and short-term
   During its first two years of operation the center will be run by foreign
experts, he added, because the Burmese do not have the necessary expertise in
marketing, management and maintenance.
   Managing Director Bernard Kwek of the Singapore firm said he has been asked
to stay on and manage the $7.5 million center.   "I am a businessman," he said.
 "But I cannot refuse this request by the minister, and I am going to bring in 
some of my men from Singapore to help me.