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Counting the Cost
Myanmar: Open for business
As political reforms kick in and foreign investment floods in, we ask if Myanmar could be Asia's next economic tiger.
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2012 08:14

As political reforms kick in in Myanmar, the country is now open for business and foreign investment is flooding in. But, after decades of political repression and economic isolation, could the country really become Asia's next economic tiger?

Businesses may have to pay attention to ensure that reforms really do happen, but there are already real indications of the country's economic potential.

At the top of the list is Myanmar's proven gas reserves - estimated at 22.5 trillion cubic feet and not nearly fully exploited.

There is a $2.5bn gas pipeline deal, which will supply southern China with energy by next year and which is expected to provide a major boost to Myanmar's export earnings.

And GDP is forecast to hit $124bn by 2020. That is double the current figure.

Al Jazeera's Veronica Pedrosa joins the show after witnessing Aung San Suu Kyi's "arrival on the world stage" at the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Bangkok.

The opposition leader recommended "cautious optimism" when talking about her country at the business forum. But Pedrosa says it is significant that, after being unable to travel for more than 20 years, she chose to attend the forum and "support the cause of her country being a good place to invest".

So, just how much potential does Myanmar have and how will it fit into the regional economic picture?

Also on the show this week - Madrid's SOS.

Spain is now the focal point of the eurozone crisis. But it is not on the balance sheets of the banks or in the hallways of Brussels that the pain of Spain's economic crisis is really being felt. Rather, with almost one in four Spaniards currently out of work, it is in the unemployment offices.

Jonah Hull reports on the unemployment problems crippling Spain's economy and we ask how Spain can get out of trouble.

Germany wants it to apply for a new bailout, but what would the accompanying further austerity measures mean for the country? Counting the Cost puts that question to Stephen Pope, a managing partner at Spotlight Ideas.

And, could events in the eurozone cause Japan's hard-fought post-tsunami economic gains to fall apart as Europe's debt crisis threatens to lower demand for Japanese goods? Mike Firn reports from Tokyo.

 
Watch each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630. Click here for more Counting the Cost.

Follow Kamahl Santamaria @KamahlAJE and business editor Abid Ali @abidoliverali

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Al Jazeera
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