Back to 'basket case'? Myanmar economy at risk after coup
Foreign investors flocked to Myanmar as it began its democratic transition a decade ago, but this week's military coup is likely to accelerate a trend of Western withdrawal -- and China's expansion.
Myanmar's untapped potential was up for grabs in 2011, when generals in charge of a 49-year junta loosened their iron grip, paving the way for democratic reforms and economic liberalisation in the country of more than 50 million people.
Investors pumped money into telecommunications, infrastructure, manufacturing and construction projects.
But the buzz was already fading by 2017 for the West, after a military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state led to allegations of genocide.
And the sight of generals running the show again could be the last straw for Western businesses, analysts say.
But for some of Myanmar's top trading partners -- China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India -- analysts predict no major blowback.
If anything, "the coup will push Myanmar even further into China's arms and the imbalance between Chinese and Western investments in the country will increase", Francoise Nicolas, Asia director of the French Institute of International Relations, told AFP.
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