Investors and businessmen calculate the costs of Myanmar elections. Masako Iijima reports.
These days, Yangon is a bit of a boom town, teeming with businessmen and construction sites. It's the fruit of economic reforms launched in 2011 after an election that ended decades of military rule. But after four years, the euphoria is starting to fade. Those who want to do business say the country needs to revise its investment and banking rules and build infrastructure. Flare-ups of sectarian and ethnic violence are also causing concern. (SOUNDBITE) MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE JAPANESE EXTERNAL TRADE ORGANISATION OFFICE IN YANGON, HIROKAZU YAMAOKA SAYING: "We are hoping that through the election results, Myanmar will be able to send a message to Japanese investors that it (the country) is in a very stable state and that there will not be problems. There are a lot of Japanese investors who are preparing to invest in the country, so we hope that the results will not effect these preparations," Local businesses think a change in leadership is vital. What little faith they had in the quasi-civillian government is almost gone. (SOUNDBITE) JEWELLERY SALESMAN AUNG NAING, 30, SAYING: "If the current party wins the election, the economy will be worse than it is now because the government controls everything, economy, all areas. The situation will be worse," The World Bank is predicting Myanmar's economy will grow by about 6.5 percent this year. That's down from an initial forecast of eight percent, due to slowing investment and recent floods.