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BurmaNet News February 6, 1996 #339

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------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News: February 6, 1996
Issue #339

Noted in Passing:
		We know that Betty Lord... the beloved wife of
		Winston Lord... is somewhat connected to Ho Mong.
		- SLORC magazine writer Ko Thein


February 5, 1996

Mainichi Daily News, Monday, February 5


	Interviews with members of the media have become part of my normal work
schedule over the last seven months.  Some interviews are brief, 15 minutes
or so, limited to a particular topic which is the specialty of the newspaper
or magazine concerned.  Other interviews are longer and ramble over a wider
range of subjects.  There are a number of standard questions related to the
period of my house arrest and the work of the National League for Democracy
(NLD) which are asked in almost every interview.  Then there are questions
which relate to current developments.
	In recent weeks many journalists have asked about the economic policies of
the NLD.  One or two have even asked if we believed in an open-market
economy.  It brought home to me the fact that few foreigners knew of the
existence of the Manifesto brought out by our party for the 1990 elections.
And as there has been no official English translation of the Manifesto, even
those who knew of it might not have known much about its contents.  (The
authorities have not permitted the NLD to bring out any publications since
about two months after the elections.)
	In view of current media interest, I would like to put down here the
economic objectives of the NLD as stated under 11 clauses in the sections of
the Manifesto on the economy:
	a) Stability in prices, currency and employment; a national currency in
which the people can have confidence
	b) Appropriate monetary and fiscal policies and an effectively controlled
	c) A review of the exchange rate followed by necessary revision 
	d) Priority given to the import of fuel, vehicles and other goods that will
contribute toward a fall in prices
	e) Diversification of export goods
	f) Amendments in foreign investment laws with a view to increasing the
volume of investments
	g) Reductions of foreign debts and resumption of aid and assistance from abroad
	h) Review and, where necessary, revision or repeal of laws, decrees,
regulations and other restrictions which circumscribe economic activities
	I) Review and revision of the tax system to make private enterprise more
	j) An economy in which all the component parts are based fully on the
market economy; encouragement of the speedy development of private enterprise
	k) Promotion of a more efficient tourist industry.
	Of course, it is easy enough to set down economic objectives, the question
is how one sets about achieving them.  I have found the opinions expressed
by Dr. David Dapice, associate faculty fellow of the Harvard Institute for
International Development, in his reports on the Burmese economy to the
United Nations Development Program very similar to the views of the NLD.  In
"Prospects for Sustainable Growth in Myanmar/Burma" Dr. Dapice comments that
"economic reform is not simply setting an interest rate or exchange rate.
It is establishing a shared vision of where the policies should lead and
creating credibility and confidence that most movements will be in the right
	Credibility and confidence are basic to good business and this is what we
have to establish first if we want our policies to lead to a successful
open-market economy.  It is for this reason that the NLD believes that
essential to sound economic development is a political system firmly rooted
in the rule of law.  Here again I would like to refer to Dr. Dapice, who
holds that to reverse the trend in Burma toward "serious and
difficult-to-reverse economic, social, and political problems" there would
need to be "a strong and effective legal system, and a set of policies and
institutions that engender confidence enough for people to save in banks and
invest in the future without fear that they will, effectively, lose even if
they succeed."[2]
	When I am questioned as to my views on foreign investment I reply that now
is not yet the time to invest.  And to those who would query what the
alternative would be to "investment now," I would say: "Invest in the
future."  That is to say, invest in democracy for Burma if only for the sake
of your own profits.  Businesses that frame their investment policies with a
view to promoting an open, secure political system based on confidence and
credibility will find they are also promoting an open, secure economy based
on confidence and credibility where optimum returns can be expected by
investors.  A democratic Burma will be an economically dynamic and stable Burma.
[1] David Dapice, "Prospects for Sustainable Growth in Myanmar/Burma" (A
Report to the United Nations Development Program, September 12, 1995), p. 15
[2] Ibid.

* * **********************************************************

Strong-arm policies help spur Burma's growth
February 8, 1996

By Michael Vatikiotis in Bangkok

Coercion isn't most people's idea of an agricultural 
"input", but for Burma's economy it does the trick. Rangoon 
conscripts labour for irrigation works, then garners a large 
portion of crops at a fraction of market rates. As an 
official statistical gazette dryly notes, the public "has 
been participating by contributing services, cash and 

Anachronistic, perhaps, but apparently effective. As the 
International Monetary Fund noted in an upbeat report in 
October, agricultural output - led by rice exports - is 
powering Burma's economic expansion. Burma itself estimates 
GDP grew 6.8% in the year to March 31, up from 6% a year 
earlier. Agriculture, fisheries and forestry accounted for 
more than 63% of output and 68% of employment. Both shares 
have risen sharply since the mid-1980s.

The IMF believes this strong agricultural growth is helping 
liberalize state trade monopolies while promoting the 
private sector. Other Burma-watchers aren't so sure. They 
note that the bulk of export growth is still managed by the 
state, using labour practices little different from the 
exploitation of debt-ridden farmers by foreign moneylenders 
during the colonial era.

"The state is still inducing people to construct irrigation 
works for dry-season cropping," says a Western diplomat in 
Rangoon. The government estimates that the "people's 
contribution" to agricultural land reclamation rose 45% to 
54.7 million kyat ($9.1 million at official rates) in fiscal 1994-95.

What's more, the heavy reliance on agriculture is merely the 
flip side of another problem: The ruling military regime 
needs farming exports to make up for both the aid that has 
stalled because of the regime's human rights abuses, and 
promised foreign investment held up by fear of political 
instability. Despite Rangoon's development hopes, "Burma is 
an agricultural country that will succeed or fail with 
agriculture as the main contributor to GDP," says 
Christopher Bruton of Bangkok-based Dataconsult.

That means rice is the key to Burma's overall growth, just 
as it was before three decades of isolation from which the 
economy is only now emerging (50 years ago, Burma was the 
world's largest rice exporter). Last fiscal year, Burma's 
rice exports more than quadrupled, to $197 million, and 
accounted for 22% of merchandise export, the largest single 
share. By volume, they rose to 1.03 million tonnes from 
261,100 over the same period.

Who's buying? Half of the volume, the IMF says, went to 
Indonesia, whose own rice output was hampered by last year's 
severe flooding. Other analysts believe China, also 
suffering a grain shortage, is another big recipient.

Happily for Burma, its own rice output reached a record 19 
million tonnes last fiscal year - although some Western 
diplomats in Rangoon doubt the official tally and suspect 
that some exported rice came out of state stockpiles. The 
IMF attributes higher production to better irrigation and 
fertilizer input, which allows two and three crops a year. 
The IMF says the output rise is also partly a response to 
rising free-market prices for rice, and the fact that 
private traders now distribute more of it - 5.1 million 
tonnes last fiscal year, compared with 2.3 million three 
years earlier.

Of course, it's easy to improve irrigation when you can 
simply conscript the ditch diggers. Foreign investment in 
agriculture could help eradicate such practices by loosening 
the state's grip on the sector. But foreign interest has so 
far concentrated on energy and services. "Agriculture is an 
area with good potential," says a foreign business consultant 
in Rangoon, "but everyone wants to build a hotel."

They may cease doing even that if the government doesn't 
speed up economic reform. While investment approvals 
quadrupled to $1.35 billion last fiscal year, realized 
foreign investment rose only 2.5-fold, to $245 million. 
"People are running into bureaucratic problems," says the 
consultant. "Complains are being heard all around."

Many economists blame the grossly overvalued kyat (still 
pegged officially at six to the US dollar, against a market 
rate as high as 120) and the state's continued dominance in 
key sectors. The World Bank notes in a report the state 
still accounts for 22% of GDP, and even more in certain 
sectors (56.4% in services; 82% in construction). The IMF 
estimates the state hogged four-fifths of the country's 151 
billion kyat in credit last fiscal year.

But as long as the junta can rely on agricultural exports - 
and increasingly oil and gas - it will have little incentive 
to brave bolder reform and faster privatization. Indeed, 
Rajan Pillai of Peregrine Capital Myanmar in Rangoon says 
the country's political isolation could ease in the next two 
years if a protracted constitutional convention settles on a 
form of government with more-democratic features. Pillai 
looks on the bright side. Denied foreign aid, he says, at 
least "development in Burma is equity-driven rather than 
debt-driven." (FEER)


February 6, 1996
two translated excerpts from Myat Khin Thit magazine

In the February issue of the "Myat Khin Thit" ("New Lawn" or 
"New Pasture"), an article appeared entitled "Khun Sa and his International 
Connections," written by Ko Thein.

Accompanied by several photos of Khun Sa posing with foreigners (including one
with former Presdient Carter aide Peter Bourne), the article accuses State
Department Asst. Secretary Winston Lord and his wife of having some connection
to Khun Sa.  Near the relevant passage is an uncaptioned photo of Khun Sa
standing next to a western man and an Asian woman in western slacks.  The
passage on the Lords is as follows:

"We know that Betty Lord, who is speaking through BBC, and the beloved wife of
Winston Lord, the Assistant Foreign Minister (Secretary of State) is somewhat
connected to Ho Mong (Khun Sa's headquarters).

"They seem to think that later on we are going to expose more about the people
who are somewhat connected to Khun Sa.  I believe that they have spoken out
because of the fear that came upon them like "that animal" caught in a corner.

"Those who spoke out would like to choke (literally "become the blockage of
Khun Sa's throat") in light of the danger they are likely to face."

Comment:  the close placement of the photo with the text on the Lords seems
intended to have readers believe that the man and woman standing next to Khun
Sa are Winston and Betty Lord.  They are not.

Another recent article, apparently written by Miriam Marshall Segal's 
husband, "Dr Michael Segal",  slammed U.S. Ambassador to the United
Nations, Madeleine Allbright.  

Segal attacked Albright for thinking herself qualified to make sweeping 
statements about Burma after spending only 2 days in the country.  He also 
suggested that she can't know why people in Burma smile and went on to 
say that perhaps the reason American people DON'T smile is because of the 
crime and drugs and other problems, since as a country America can't get its 
act together (unlike  Myanmar, one presumes).  

Segal also claims that like all new and naive visitors, Albright fell into the 
trap of liking Aung San Suu Kyi.

Note: The "New Lawn" is widely regarded as a DDSI (Military Intelligence)
publication.  Several of its writers also write political articles for "The
New Light of Myanmar."


5th February 1996

Yesterday the Mon Community in Australia, including a number of recently
arrived refugees, joined Australian friends to celebrate "Mon National Day".  

Historically the Mons have enjoyed cultural pre-eminence in Burma and South
East Asia. Through various forms of persecution, beginning with attacks by
Burman Kings, they have become an ethnic minority suffering oppression and
fighting for their cultural and linguistic survival today.

Mon National Day is an annual festival held on the lunar day of the first
waning of Mide, Mon calendar, 4th of February this year, when Mons, wherever
they may be, gather in remembrance of their brilliant history.  Here in
Australia it was Canberra.  

In their quest to actively preserve and promote their culture and promote
the cause of liberty, justice and freedom for the people of Burma, the
Australian Mon have officially formed the "Australia- Mon Association".
This new association will also take on the responsibility for the successful
resettlement of newly arrived Mon refugee migrants to Australia.  

Among the speakers was Sir William Keys A.C., O.B.E, M.C. former National
President of the Returned Servicemen's league, who wholeheartedly
congratulated and encouraged the community's efforts and glorified
Australia's colourful, multi-cultural society.

Media Contact:

Nai Win Mon,  Chairman, Australia-Mon Association
Phone:	(06) 282 3922      Fax: (06) 2397260


January 30, 1996
by Lee Siew Hua

	The Pepsi King of Myanmar wants to sell all manner of merchandise, from
Carlsberg beer to cement, to tap new consumerism in his country.
	Mr. Thein Tun, 59, is probably the richest man here, fellow entrepreneurs
and Singaporean businessmen say.  He shot into the big league in 1991, after
signing up a 60% stake in Pepsi Cola Products Myanmar, a US$2.5 million
(S$3.6 million) joint venture with the All-American Pepsico.  Production
began at 72,000 bottles a day and is now 600,000.
	Mr. Tun's diversified stable of about a dozen companies now includes a gold
mining venture, a property development firm, a condensed milk factory, an
amusement center, a charitable bank and a steel plant.  One of his partners
is Singapore's Nat Steel.  Others are mainly foreigners and state agencies.
The total assets of his Golden Star group are more than US$4 million.
	In an interview with the Straits Times, Mr. Tun said he chose to focus on
consumer goods in 1987, while in London for a month for a medical check-up.
	He said, "I had nothing to do.  I watched TV news all the time.  The
international stock market was crashing.  According to my study, stock
prices of consumer companies were still stable.
	"I decided that one day when the economic system was more open I would
build my business on the consumer products industry."
	Garbed in a longyi (sarong), Mr. Tun quickly with an exuberant air.  "My
motto is low-profile, run fast, make money, live peacefully," he said.
	That thinking was partly shaped by the years of socialism during 1962 to
1988, when merchants, distrusted by the government, learned to be low-key.
Mr. Tun had then represented foreign companies, such as the Berli Jucker
trading house.
	He said bluntly, "I never believed in socialism.  I never joined the party.
We have slept for 26 years under the socialist system.  We have to run to
catch up now.  Even if someone has money to invest, he does not know how to
make more money."
	But Mr. Tun believes the government is now on the right course.  He said,
"The economy should open up gradually, otherwise there will be side effects
like loss of culture and civilization.
	"Also, most of the foreigners will take a bigger percentage of joint
ventures, because many of our businessmen do not have money to invest.
	"In Myanmar, you can sleep with the doors open.  It is safe.  The air is
clean.  The country is beautiful.  I will never live elsewhere."
	He added, "There is a Burmese saying that when the oars break, you 
use your hands to paddle.  You go, go, go.  That is my nature."


January 31, 1996

	Heineken NV intends to go ahead with its investment plans in Burma 
despite opposition from human rights activists, Heinken spokesman Koos 
Woltjes said.  Woltjes was responding to comments made by Burmese 
opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in a 
telephone interview yesterday on Dutch television, who urged Heineken 
to hold off investing in Burma rather than supporting the military regime.
	Woltjes says while the company agrees with the analysis of human rights
groups with regard to the Burmese regime, it does not agree with the
conclusion that it would be better to withdraw from Burma.
	"We do not agree with the assessment that it would be better for the
country and its population if we were not there.  Heineken's norms and
values dictate that we can only enter a country when we meet our social
responsibilities in addition to our economic responsibilities," he said.
	He said the brewery will be 60% owned by Asia Pacific Breweries of
Singapore, a joint venture between Heineken and Fraser and Neave Ltd.  The
remaining 40% will be owned by Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd., which is in
turn owned by Burma's military rulers.

PAPER    February 6, 1996
Associated Press

RESPONDING to critics who say she is bad for business, pro-
democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday outline the 
economic policy of her party and said the means for its 
implementation were in a paper published by a Harvard economist.

Suu Kyi made her policy statement in her weekly column in 
the Mainichi Daily News of Japan. It calls for an open-
market economy, and its credibility will be based on an open 
and democratic political system, she said.

"A democratic Burma will be an economically dynamic Burma," 
Suu Kyi wrote. The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner laid out 11 
general economic objectives.

Suu Kyi said the details of how to put them into practice 
could be found in a paper called "prospects for Sustainable 
Development in Burma," submitted to the United Nations 
Development Programme by Dr David Dapice, a professor at 
Harvard University in the United States.

"This is important because the military government has been 
portraying her as a crypto-socialist," said Bertil Lintner, 
a Bangkok-based author of several books on Burma.

Lintner said the most significant of her party's economic 
objectives was a clause calling' for "a review of the 
exchange rate, followed by necessary revision."

Burma's currency, the kyat, is traded at an official 
exchange rate of about six to one US dollar. The more widely 
used black market rate is 120 kyats to the dollar, and 
inflation is estimated at 35 per cent a year.

Burma's economic planners have steadfastly refused to cut 
the currency's official value, saying that would boost their 
foreign debt, estimated at about$5 billion.

Lintner said Suu Kyi should have been more critical of the 
difficulty companies have in obtaining the necessary 
information to do business in Burma.

"Businesses need transparency for real information about 
what is happening in the markers," Lintner said. "Burma now 
has zero transparency."

Despite her opposition to the government exchange rate 
policy, Rajan Pillai of Peregrine Investments, the only 
foreign investment house with an operation in Burma, said 
Suu Kyi's objectives weren't significantly different from 
the military government.

"Every single point is exactly what the government is 
already doing," Pillai said.

Since her release from six years of house arrest in July, 
Suu Kyi has repeatedly called on businesses to refrain from 
investing in Burma. While some have held off, many others 
have been rushing in, providing foreign exchange for the 
military government.

Several of Suu Kyi's allies have repeatedly stated that it 
is imperative for her to win over the business community to 
gain international support. (TN)


February 4, 1996

SIR :  Regarding the article, " Visitors find Burma's tourist-
friendly image a facade" (Sunday Perspective, January 23),
organiser Diane Guest and company should consider themselves
lucky to get away from the unpleasant and painful trip, despite
it costing them dearly.

Ms Guest should have realised that she was not a special guest.
The only thing the Slorc generals know is how to make a quick
buck, but they don't know the tricks of the trade. They really
don't understand how professionals work. But they are very good
at bullying innocent and defenceless people.

If one reads the article carefully, it is obvious that the public
dare not point out who the authorities are. So this means the
people of Burma are living in fear.

The worst is that secret law which only exists in " Myanmar" .

It is time the Slorc learned to overcome prejudice and
sensitivity. As a matter of fact, there is no guarantee of a
happy trip for tourists despite the love and kindness shown by
the people of Burma.

So tourists planning to celebrate " Visit Myanmar Year" should be
smart enough to learn from Ms Guest's painful experience and
think not twice but many times before they decide to embark  on a
trip. Or else you might find yourself as the Slorc's "next victim".

Thaw Tha Gyi


February 6, 1996

The Karenni National progressive Party (KNPP) and the Karen 
National Union (KNU) agreed to fight hand in hand against 
the Burmese government earlier this month.

According to an informed KNPP source, the agreement was 
reached between KNU leader Gen Bo Mya and KNPP Prime 
Minister Aung Than Hle during a party at the KNU's Ti Ma Nor 
base, opposite Thailand's Umphang District in Tak Province.

The party was staged by Gen Bo Mya to celebrate the 47th 
anniversary of Burmese Independence from Britain. Aung Than 
Hle was reportedly accompanied by his cabinet members to the party.

Both parties will resort to creating unrest by trying to win 
over the masses in various towns under Rangoon's control as 
well as staging guerrilla-style attacks on its troops, the source said. (BP)


February 5, 1996

Burmese soldiers have taken over positions previously held 
by opium warlord Khun Sa's Mong Tai Army (MTA) along a 
1,175-km stretch of the border opposite Chiang Rai, Chiang 
Mai and Mae Hong Son.

MTA sources said most of Khun Sa's 10 heroin refineries 
along the border have also been removed as have the once 
present MTA troops since the opium warlord's surrender to Rangoon.

Local village leaders have been summoned to meetings and 
informed about the transfer of power in the border area, the 
sources said. It is expected government soldiers will 
continue to man the border positions for at least three 
months before handing some of them back to MTA troops once 
they officially become border defence volunteers, the sources said.

Some 1,500 MTA troops have refused to surrender to 
government forces and moved northwards to positions in Ban 
Piang Luang of Wiang Haeng District, Chaing Mai; Ban Hua Mae 
Kham in Mae Chan District; and Ban Ah Long in Mae Fa Luang 
District, Chiang Rai, the sources confirmed.

The group, which is reportedly carrying heroin refining 
equipment, is believed to have joined an MTA splinter group 
led by Maj Kan Yod who previously broke away from Khun Sa's 
leadership. The two groups control a combined force of over 
5,000 troops, the sources said. (BP)

Excerpt from BKK POST: Khun Sa May  Set Up Shop In Rangoon
(February 4, 1996):

Khun Sa is likely to quit his former Ho Mong headquarters 
for Rangoon where he will run his businesses, according to a 
source in the Mong Tai Army. Since surrendering last month, 
the opium warlord has remained at Ho Mong in Shan state, the 
source said.

He spends most of his time at his home, where he is guarded 
round the clock by MTA and Burmese government soldiers. 
There are fears that MTA soldiers unhappy about his 
surrender of the MTA stronghold might want him dead.

Burmese government troops have been responsible for various 
robberies of Shan people in the area, according to the 
source. They have raped women living outside Ho Mong and 
have been collecting heavy taxes on goods, the source said. 

Khun Sa is thought to be undecided on whether to go and live 
in Rangoon. The Burmese government gas reportedly offered him 
a house, security, and a promise not to extradite him to stand trial.


February 5, 1996   (abridged)

The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) has threatened to 
intensify its attacks against Thailand if the kingdom 
continues to protect Karen National Union (KNU) troops, DKBA 
leader Sa Thwe said. Lt Col Sa Thwe made the threat while 
leading a DKBA delegation to meet Tha Song Yang district 
chief Wallop Sripha here on Saturday.

 "We'll launch heavier attacks if Thailand continues to 
shelter KNU armed troops," Lt Col Sa Thwe said. The Burmese 
government has nothing to do with the threat, it is DKBA 
which is issuing it, he added.

The DKBA wants all Karen refugees who fled the camps on Thai 
soil to return to Burma, but they are being prevented from 
doing so by KNU troops living in the camps, he said. KNU 
troops have also been using Thai soil as a base to attack 
DKBA forces, he said.

Mr Wallop denied that Thailand allowed any foreign armed troops, 
be they from the KNU or DKBA, to enter Thai soil.  It was agreed 
at Saturday's meeting that unarmed Burmese civilians would be 
allowed to cross the border to purchase goods in Thailand.

The DKBA also returned a walkie-talkie that belonged to 
Senior Sergeant Major Chamnong Charoenying who was killed in 
Tuesday's attack. DKBA troops also took Senior Sergeant 
Major Chamnong's gun but Lt Col Sa Thwe said it would be 
returned later. (BP)

EXCERPT from BKK POST: Fear Of Attack By Dkba Troops Forces Some 
600 Residents To Leave Home (February 4, 1996):

Fear of attack by Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) 
troops has forced 600 residents from two villages bordering 
Burma to leave their homes during the night.

Residents from Ban Mae Usu's Village Group 3 and 4 take 
their sleeping gear and vacate their homes at 5 p.m. to stay 
overnight in farm huts and jungle hideouts or with relatives 
in towns. They return at 6 a.m. the following day.

"I wonder why the Border Patrol Police and defence 
volunteers most of the time stay only in Karen refugee camps. 
"They don't pay the same attention to Thai villages," he said.


February 6, 1996  (abridged)

[Editor's Note: There is substantial evidence to show that much
of the DKBA's activity is supported if not co-ordinated by the 

The Rangoon junta has nothing to do with renegade Karen 
raids across the border, Defence Minister Chavalit 
Yongchaiyudh said yesterday. The State Law and Order 
restoration Council was unable to control the Democratic 
Karen Buddhist Army, which killed three people including a 
monk and a policeman in Tak last Tuesday.

Gen Chavalit, who is to lead the House Military Affairs 
panel to inspect the border in Tak and Mae Hong Son, also 
dismissed suggestions of poor coordination between the 
military and the Foreign Ministry.


February 4-6, 1996
compiled/abridged from information provided by M. Beer and C. Schlenker


Since 1984, when the factory in Swidik, Poland began its serial production 
of the Sokol helicopter, the factory, today known as the PZL Swidnik, has 
sold approximately 100 Sokol machines in several versions.  The Polish army 
is the main recipient, but the helicopters are also sold to Russia, Burma,
the Czech Republic, and South Korea.  The current price of the standard Sokol 
version is almost $3 million, and the helicopter's technological duration is 20 years.


	Thailand will begin training Burmese air traffic controllers at the request
of the International Civil Aviation Organization in an exchange program
beginning in February. Two Thai air traffic controllers will be temporarily stationed 
at the control tower at Rangoon Airport to help train personnel there, Radio
Thailand reported.  An undetermined number of Burmese air traffic controllers will
also come to Thailand to receive training.
	Myanma Airways, Burma's national carrier, lost four Fokker F27s from 
1987-1989 when the airline was short of parts and had a poor maintenance record.
It was considered so unsafe at the time that the U.S. State Department advised 
travelers to avoid using it.


	The total value of trade between Thailand and Myanmar has not decreased
although all three border checkpoints have been closed for almost a year, a
senior official of the Thai foreign ministry said Tuesday.
	During the October 1994-September 1995 period, Thailand exported $238.73
million worth of goods to Myanmar, up from $151.78 million in the same
period of 1993-94, according to Kobsak Chutikul, director general of the
ministry's economic affairs department.
	Meanwhile, Thailand imported $156.22 million in goods from Myanmar in the
same 1994-95 period, up $1.42 million from a year earlier, Kobsak said.


	Myanmar has invested US$137 million in new railway projects since the
present government came to power in 1988, the official newspaper the New
Light of Myanmar reported.  Speaking at a commission ceremony for a
section of the 416 km Chaung U-Pakokku-Gangaw-Kalay railroad on Monday,
minister for rail transportation U Win Sein announced that a total of 813 km
railways have been built or rebuilt under the present government, adding
that arrangements are being made to import another $78 million worth of
related equipment, the newspaper said.  The Chaung U-Pakokku-Gangaw-Kalay
railway, which began in April 1993, is the main artery in the region.

	An industrial zone supervisory committee has been formed in Bago, 80 km
north of Yangon, to improve the implementation work of a local industrial
zone, the official paper the New Light of Myanmar reported today.  Myanmar
is establishing 12 industrial zones in areas crucial for industrial
development, which include Yangon, Bago, Mandalay, Hinthada, Myaungmya,
Myeik, Yenangyaung, and Pyay.  In the 1994-95 fiscal year, Myanmar's
industry registered a growth rate of 8.9% over the fiscal year 1993-94,
according to the official statistics.  Myanmar's agriculture also develops
rapidly in recent years, based on which Myanmar is endeavoring to develop
its industries and mechanization of its agriculture.  Myanmar achieved an
annual economic growth rate of over 8% in the past four fiscal years from
1992-93 to 1995-96, and a new five-year short-term project from the fiscal
years 1996-97 to 2000-01 is to be implemented commencing April 1996.


	Than Shwe has said that efforts must be concentrated on
controlling inflation rate and bringing down commodity prices during the
forthcoming five-year plan, the New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported.  
The country's next five-year plan will be from 1996-2001.  Than Shwe, 
who is chairman of Myanmar's State Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC) said here Tuesday at a coordination meeting of the SLORC that
commodity prices will be stabilized and brought down when costs of
production, distribution and transport fall.  Myanmar achieved an annual
average economic growth rate of over 8% in the past four fiscal years ending
on March 31, 1996.  Observers here estimated the annual inflation rate of
Myanmar was about 20-30% in the last few years.


	Six passenger vessels made by China's Shanghai Wu Song Shipyard were
formally delivered to Myanmar with a delivery ceremony at the Yangon
port.  This is the first batch out of 30 vessels worth US$40 million under a
contract signed in November 1994 between Myanmar's state-run Inland Water
Transport (IWT) and China's Yunnan Machinery Import and Export Corporation.
Out of the 30 vessels, 23 are made in China, and the other seven are to
assembled in Myanmar.


All Nippon Airways on Thursday unveiled a fiscal 1996 business plan aimed
at bolstering its position on routes to Europe and Asia. The business plan 
calls for launching new flights from Kansai International airport, near Osaka, to 


South Korea said  it would extend a loan of $15 million to Burma this year 
from its Economic Development and Cooperation Fund. Seoul's Finance 
Ministry said the loan would help Burma build container terminals.  The loan 
will carry 2.0 percent interest to be paid over 25 years, with a
seven-year grace period.


Three historical films from Burma will be screened at the Berlin Film Festival 
International Forum of New Cinema.  Running alongside the larger February 
15-26 festival, the 26th edition of the sidebar includes Maung Tin Maung's 1934 
silent film /Mya Ga Naing/ (In the Dark Green Jungle), a slapstick melodrama.  
The film finds its hero battling teakwood theives for the love of a sawmill 
owner's granddaughter. /Mon Shwee Yee/ (Sweet Mon) is Win Oo's 1970
love story set in the behind-the-scene world of the former Burma's theater
world.  The film's U San Shwe Maung, one of the country's pioneer
filmmakers, will attend.  He will also be in Berlin to present his own
adventure film /Nay Gyi Phyar Hma Nway Thaw Gyan/ (It Only Gets Warm 
When the Sun Shines) released in 1977. The final entry from Burma  is 
Lindsay Morrison's documentary Our Burmese Days. 


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